HSE and Minister must ensure full potential of nursing home sector realised to alleviate pressures upon acute hospitals

1,400+ Nursing home beds available across country

Minister must engage with nursing home sector to plan for Winter Period


Nursing Homes Ireland today, 10th August, informed circa 1,400 nursing home beds are available across the country to support the HSE in alleviating acute hospital pressures and to meet healthcare requirements of older persons. INMO figures published yesterday inform of record overcrowding levels of people on trolleys in hospital wards within our hospitals.  And figures released by the HSE to Deputy Billy Kelleher inform almost 6,000 people aged over 75 years were left waiting more than 24 hours for A&E treatment so far this year.


Nursing Homes Ireland’s latest bed availability survey, July 2017, informed of 712 beds being available to provide care within 193 nursing homes. Replicated across the 400+ private and voluntary nursing homes across the country, this would indicate capacity being circa 1,400 beds.


Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO stated: “Over 1,000 beds are available across the country within close proximity to hospitals to meet a diverse range of older person healthcare needs. Nursing homes have dedicated clinical and care staff in place to meet older persons step-down, rehabilitative, respite and transitional care requirements. The HSE must ensure within its hospitals across the country older people who are fit for discharge are enabled to transition in a timely manner to these specialist healthcare providers operating within our local communities. Nursing homes have an essential role to fulfil in enabling the timely discharge of older persons from acute hospitals and in freeing up hospital beds.”


NHI also called upon Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister for Older People Jim Daly to engage with the nursing home sector in advance of the Winter period. Mr Daly stated: “Ministers Harris and Daly must ensure the full potential of over 400 healthcare providers across the country are realised to alleviate pressures upon our hospitals this Winter. We are well aware a high number of those presenting for care within our acute hospitals are older persons. Nursing homes have specialist care teams that can support hospitals in providing the step-down care that will be essential to alleviate pressures. Timely discharge is essential and we call upon Minister Harris to engage with our sector to ensure the appropriate planning is in place in advance of Winter 2017.”


For further information contact Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications & Research Officer at 01 4699806 or 087 9082970.  


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