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Further warning of requirement for fit-for-purpose Fair Deal scheme

Sunday August 8, 2021

8th August 2021: Nursing Homes Ireland has called on Minister of State for Older People Mary Butler to make an immediate statement on the ongoing failure of the Fair Deal scheme.   NHI has welcomed a report in today’s media that Minister Rabbitte plans to raise the lack of fairness by the State in the operation of the scheme, with not all homes adequately funded for treating people with complex care needs.  NHI CEO Tadhg Daly states: “Today’s report once again confirms the inadequacy of the Fair Deal scheme and confirms that the HSE acknowledge the true cost of care when it suits the HSE. There is an immediate requirement to have full transparency and visibility of the Far Deal budget. There remains urgent necessity to ensure nursing homes are appropriately resourced to meet the specialised care needs of every resident entrusted in their care. As per numerous independent analyses and NHI’s long-standing warnings, the Fair Deal scheme is not fit-for-purpose. The State has acknowledged such, commissioning a review of the pricing mechanism in 2015. It stated the requirement for a separate review to deliver recommendations to address scheme shortcomings in providing care for residents with high dependency and complex care needs. Six years on, no recommendation has been advanced or implemented. Just two weeks ago, the ESRI was the latest independent authority to highlight the scheme failings, stating: ‘Despite HIQA requiring LTRC [Long Term Residential Care] homes to meet standards for the provision of care for residents living with dementia, the NHSS [Nursing Home Support Scheme] does not currently allocate additional funding for cognitive impairment, including dementia.’ The time has long-passed for residents in our nursing homes to be supported by a scheme that recognises the true cost of high-dependency, specialised and complex care. The Government cannot continue to stall on this issue and as we emerge from Covid19, the Minister for Health needs to ensure a proper funding support scheme is implemented.”

Media seeking Tadhg Daly for interview can contact Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications & Research Executive, who can be contacted at 087 9082970.