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2022 presents ominous outlook for nursing home sector

Thursday December 30, 2021

30th December 2021: Moving into 2022, Nursing Homes Ireland has expressed concerns the provision of nursing home care will become increasingly unsustainable minus urgently required intervention from Government. Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO states: “Providers are under sustained threat given the measures to protect residents from Covid19 have substantively increased operational costs and the capability to retain and attract staff is proving increasingly precarious given the discrimination in funding under Fair Deal. The implications of Covid19 are intensified infection prevention control measures and increased demands with regard to staffing. Yet the State, which ultimately holds responsibility for the funding of nursing home care through Fair Deal, has ignored such. Within a Department of Health report published just before Christmas, the regulator HIQA warned yet again Fair Deal fees are not based on care needs of residents. This warning was presented to the Department pre-Covid19. Smaller providers in particular are under sustained threat, operating within a very different operational and cost environment from that presented pre-Covid that is not recognised by the State. Nursing homes are stating to NHI their capacity to meet the care needs of residents is under extreme pressure.

“16 months on from the publication of the Covid19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel, there is immediate requirement for the State to recognise the implications for successful implementation of its recommendations and to value the intensified staffing pressures through required resourcing. The cessation of TAPS to support Covid19 costs was premature given the ongoing challenges presented by the virus and the extraordinarily high number of cases in the community.

“The UK Government recognised the extremity of cost pressures faced by care home providers and announced dedicated funding to support them in retaining and attracting staff. There is urgent need for our Government to move into 2022 by recognising unsustainable pressures present for nursing home care in Ireland and require dedicated State funding to alleviate a developing crisis. We call on Ministers Donnelly and Butler to prioritise support for the nursing home sector and immediately engage.”

Tadhg Daly is available for further interview. Interviews will be facilitated by Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications & Research Executive, who can be contacted at 087 9082970.

Note for Editor

The HIQA warning featured in Department of Health report A value for money review of nursing home care costs, published 15th December