Optimum delivery of the Fair Deal scheme for nursing home residents must be a priority if hospital bed pressures are to be alleviated, that’s the view of Mayo Fine Gael deputy Michael Ring.

The Nursing Home Support, ‘Fair Deal’ scheme currently supports over 22,500 residents in approximately 550 nursing homes across the country.

Deputy Ring says the scheme, which has been broadly successful, has enabled over a quarter of a million residents to be supported and provided with nursing home care over the past 10 years.

The cost of residential care to the State was approximately €1.4 billion in 2021, including contributions from residents. Private nursing homes received nearly €1 billion of this funding, almost 70%, including contributions from residents.

Applicants to the scheme now face a four week wait to ascertain their acceptance onto the scheme, which is a vast improvement, deputy Ring insists, on delays of up to 12 weeks some years ago.

Given the extreme pressures being experienced by hospitals currently, community healthcare delivered in our nursing homes is a huge resource, deputy Ring argues.

He says the continuous provision and development of the Fair Deal scheme for our most vulnerable elderly citizens is vitally important and the deputy is encouraging all stakeholders to continue to work together to develop new pathways for the scheme’s base to be broadened and strengthened.

Deputy Ring has been speaking to Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley...


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