NHI calls upon Department of Health to immediately publish review of Fair Deal pricing mechanism



Critical role of nursing home sector in alleviating pressures upon acute hospitals during Winter period & beyond outlined at NHI Annual Conference


Continuous engagement between acute hospitals and nursing homes will fulfil a critical role in alleviating pressures upon acute hospitals during the Winter period, Nursing Homes Ireland today informed Minister for Health Simon Harris at its annual conference, 16th November.


Over 350 nursing home providers from across the country have assembled at Citywest Hotel, Co Dublin. Speakers are informing regarding policy developments and evidence informed practice in healthcare provision.


In 2016, 7,342 persons were financially supported to discharge from HSE acute hospitals to avail of transitional care within private nursing homes and 8,121 persons availed of financial support for nursing home care under the Fair Deal scheme.


Minister for Health Simon Harris is addressing the Conference at 2pm.


In his address to the conference, Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO, urged the Department of Health to prioritise the publication of the Fair Deal pricing review being undertaken by the National Treatment Purchase Fund. He said: “We are now seven years on from the commencement of the Fair Deal scheme and the review of the pricing mechanism to support provision of nursing home care, a fundamental of the scheme, remains outstanding, having been due for publication June 2017. Analysis undertaken on behalf of the Department has highlighted greater transparency and consistency is required for fees payable.  The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform published in October an eye-raising report that informed of the increasing pressures being incurred upon nursing home providers. Despite our population ageing rapidly, over the past two years the numbers availing of financial support from Fair Deal has remained stagnant. This reflects people are availing of nursing home care with very high dependency care needs and with five providers having already closed their doors in the past year, it is now incumbent upon us to address the deficiencies of the Fair Deal pricing mechanism.”


Mr Daly underlined the critical role of nursing home care in supporting our acute hospitals. “Nursing home care fulfils an essential role within our health service in meeting 24/7 healthcare needs of people requiring long-term residential care. Over 23,000 people are financially supported by the Fair Deal scheme, having undertaken a comprehensive care needs assessment to determine that nursing home care is required. Furthermore, in 2016 the HSE provided financial support to over 7,000 people to enable them avail of transitional care in nursing homes removed from acute hospital settings. The high-skilled teams within the specialist home from home settings that are nursing homes are  meeting the holistic care needs of older people, encompassing specialist clinical, health and social care on a round-the-clock basis. Two-thirds of the large number of persons consistently awaiting discharge from our acute hospitals are older people requiring nursing home care. As evidenced in 2016, around 600 persons every month moved back into the community from our hospitals into the home-from-home dedicated healthcare settings that are private nursing homes.”


The conference is also hearing from Dr Maev-Ann Wren, Senior Researcher with the ESRI, who is presenting regarding the recently published Institute report Projections of demand for healthcare in Ireland, 2015-2030, specifically assessing growth in requirement for long-term and intermediate care. Department of Health Secretary General Jim Breslin is presenting regarding health policy and older people and Professor Brendan Kelly of Trinity College is assessing the implications of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act for nursing homes.  


Pictures are available from Maxwell Photography. Contact 01 8308072.


Press release issued by Nursing Homes Ireland Communications & Research Executive Michael McGlynn. Contact Michael at 087 9082970. Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO, may be available for further comment.




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