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Disappointing Sláintecare plan overlooks nursing home residents

Wednesday May 12, 2021

12th May 2021: Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) has said it is extremely disappointing and remiss of the latest Sláintecare plan to not place emphasis on the integration of care services for nursing home residents within the State plan for healthcare delivery. And it fails to recognise the vital role nursing homes can achieve in delivering specialised care for older people in our communities, instead focussing on a list of promises that are politically attractive but the reality of achieving must seriously be questioned.

Tadhg Daly, CEO of NHI said: “Plans such as this which are lauded as landmark for healthcare delivery must recognise the requirement to better integrate healthcare services for nursing home residents within our health services. Covid19 highlighted the serious disconnect and the requirement to integrate must be embedded with State healthcare planning. We cannot overlook the essential need for residents in our nursing homes to be supported by closer collaborative partnerships between nursing homes and the HSE services at community level. It is disappointing an important report such as this does not make specific reference to such.

He added: “Today’s plan scatters promises of new health infrastructure but fails to recognise the potential offered by dedicated healthcare settings that are 400+ nursing homes in communities across Ireland. The capacity of the State to deliver, even with the best will of partners,  the enormous block of infrastructure presented in the plans, in three years, must be very seriously questioned. Better integration of nursing homes within our health services should entail them acting as hubs to provide important health and social care services for older people requiring nursing home care but also those needing services such as respite, meals-on-wheels and social activities. Integration must become a reality and our long-standing call for stakeholders to sit down and plan for the health and social care needs for an older population that is escalating becomes increasingly prevalent day-by-day.

“Nursing homes care is care in the community; it is the ethos of Sláintecare. Nursing homes have a vital role within our health services in deterring hospital admissions and the State must start giving proper recognition in this regard.”

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.