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Nursing Home Sector commits to Government engagement to address national health crisis

Monday January 6, 2020

Nursing Homes Ireland today, 6th January, reiterated its commitment to work with Government and HSE to ensure the role of over 400 private and voluntary nursing homes is maximised to alleviate the crisis presenting for our health services. Nursing homes in every county have capacity and with approximately two-thirds of the hundreds of people delayed discharged requiring nursing home care, it is critical nursing home beds are utilised.

NHI CEO Tadhg Daly states: “Perennially a crisis emerges every Winter and this occurs minus prior meaningful engagement or long term planning with the nursing home sector. The Government must lead a cultural shift within our health services towards consistent and constructive engagement with the private and voluntary nursing home sector to plan for timely discharge of patients from our acute hospitals. Over half the bed days being utilised within our hospitals are by older people* and there are over 400 private and voluntary nursing homes in our local communities delivering specialist step-down and long term care. Yet constructive and focussed planning with our sector is not embedded within our health service and again it is dealing with another national emergency. Nursing homes fulfil an essential role in supporting timely discharges from hospitals and ‘freeing-up’ hospital beds. Yet there is no structured engagement with our sector regarding issues that delay the discharge process and lead to older people experiencing a longer than necessary stay in hospital. Addressing fundamental issues can fulfil an important role in facilitating timely discharge of patients from hospitals back to the community.”


Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO, is available for further interview. Interviews will be facilitated by Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications and Research Executive, who can be contacted at 01 4699806 or 087 9082970.

Note for the Editor

*The recently published Health in Ireland Key Trends 2019 reports 54% of bed days in our acute hospitals are utilised by older patients (people aged 65+).