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Future of nursing home care at ‘important juncture’

Nursing Homes Ireland will outline its strategic plan for the next two years to members based in Leinster today.

It marks the beginning of a nationwide tour by the national representative body for the private and voluntary nursing home sector.

The strategy is about “amplifying” the voice of residents, “championing” care philosophies and responding to “evolving needs”, according to NHI.

A study carried out by PwC on behalf of NHI last year found that the cost of care had risen considerably since 2017.

It said there had been a 36% increase in costs over a five-year period and there was a funding crisis in the nursing home sector.

NHI has said cost increases have not been reflected in fees for care in private and voluntary nursing homes by the State.

In December, the Health Information and Quality Authority reported that nursing home closures had more than doubled nationwide over a four-year period.

NHI has said 2,356 community care beds in 71 homes nationally, including over 200 beds in Leinster, had closed due to cost pressures.

“This is detrimental to the care of our older population and broader health and social care services,” according to NHI Chief Executive Tadhg Daly.

He said the Taoiseach Simon Harris needed to “get a grip” on the future of the sector.

“Even though it is well recognised that the provision of nursing home care is a vital part of our healthcare system, we find ourselves at an important juncture concerning the future of nursing home care in Ireland.”, Mr Daly said.

The nursing home strategy published today uses the word HOMES to reflect its ambition over the next two years – (H) highlight (O) organise (M) motivate (E)engage and (S) shape the environment for residents.

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