Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) has warned that nursing home care will become increasingly unsustainable this year unless urgent support is provided by the government.

Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO, said that measures to protect residents from COVID-19 had substantially increased operational costs, while the ability to recruit and retain staff had become “increasingly precarious” due to the “discrimination in funding” under the Fair Deal.

Mr Daly (pictured) said: “The implications of COVID-19 are intensified infection prevention control measures and increased demands with regard to staffing.


“Yet the state, which ultimately holds responsibility for the funding of nursing home care through Fair Deal, has ignored such.”

Mr Daly highlighted the HIQA’s warnings in a pre-Christmas Department of Health report that Fair Deals was not based on the care needs of residents.

He warned that smaller providers, in particular, were under sustained threat due to the pandemic.

“Sixteen months on from the publication of the COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel, there is immediate requirement for the State to recognise the implications for successful implementation of its recommendations and to value the intensified staffing pressures through required resourcing,” Mr Daly said.

“The cessation of TAPS to support COVID-19 costs was premature given the ongoing challenges presented by the virus and the extraordinarily high number of cases in the community.

“The UK Government recognised the extremity of cost pressures faced by care home providers and announced dedicated funding to support them in retaining and attracting staff. There is urgent need for our Government to move into 2022 by recognising unsustainable pressures present for nursing home care in Ireland and require dedicated State funding to alleviate a developing crisis.

“We call on Ministers Donnelly and Butler to prioritise support for the nursing home sector and immediately engage.”  

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