NHI Launch Local Election Campaign from the Mansion House – Concerns Expressed for Future of Sector

Thursday May 23, 2024

Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) were pleased to launch their 2024 Local Election campaign from the Oak Room, Mansion House yesterday morning.

With nursing home providers, local councillors, and representatives of various political parties attending, Nursing Homes Ireland announced their three-week campaign to raise awareness of issues facing the nursing home sector, and the urgency required in addressing them.

Nursing home providers and staff from counties Cork, Longford, Mayo, and Louth attended the national launch. Fine Gael Councillor Baby Pereppadan, of South Dublin County Council, also attended the launch in support of the campaign.

NHI CEO Tadhg Daly and General Manager of Nursing, Trina Donohue, from St. Attracta’s nursing home, both spoke about the urgency on issues relating to nursing homes, and why all levels of the political system must be engaged in ensuring that the nursing home sector is sustainable for the future.

Highlighted on the morning and featuring as the cornerstone of NHI’s campaign, the three asks include:

  • Recognition and Fair Pay for Nursing Home Staff: It’s time for fair recognition and pay for nursing home staff. Fair Deal reform is essential to ensure comparable pay to HSE counterparts. Additionally, supporting the recognition of Healthcare Assistants as professionals by CORU is vital.
  • Immediate Additional Fair Deal Funding: To stabilise and sustain the sector in the coming years, private and voluntary nursing homes require an immediate “Stabilisation Fund” of €265 million. This equates to increased Fair Deal funding of €270 per resident per week.
  • Equal Access to Primary Care Services: All nursing home residents deserve equal access to primary care services. This includes Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Dietitian, SALT, and Chiropodist care within the nursing home setting.

Trina Donohue said:

“We (St. Attracta’s) have been in operation for over 30 years, but I am fearful for the future of the sector.”

“Last year, just outside of Charlestown, a 30-bed nursing home closed due to financial and operational difficulty, a huge loss for the area. Twenty-nine of these residents were displaced to far away towns. These are people at the end of their lives, who are the most vulnerable, who need to be near their families. This is just one example of the mounting pressures facing our local nursing homes.”

“We are simply asking for a sustainable and secure future for our nursing homes, to ensure our staff are recognised and paid fairly for the care they provide and that our residents can be close to their families and the community, as they rightfully should be.”

Tadhg Daly CEO added:

“We are calling on all local councillors and candidates in the upcoming local elections to support families, staff, and providers around the country. Nursing home care is an essential part of a well-functioning health service providing care to our ageing population in communities throughout Ireland, and we must do everything to ensure that continues uninterrupted.”

“The local elections serve as a timely reminder that local nursing home care is a vital part of any local authority, and to its people. We urge families to join us in advocating for sustainable high-quality care for nursing home residents. Your voices matter, and together, we can make a difference.”