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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 23 September, 2014

‘Not enough nursing home beds to meet demand and it’s only going to get worse’

Tadgh Daly, CEO of Nursing Homes Ireland said in the next seven years, the population over 85 will grow by 46 per cent.

ACCORDING TO A report commissioned by a private nursing homes group there aren’t enough beds to meet demand and it is only going to get worse.

Tadgh Daly, CEO of Nursing Homes Ireland, says there will be a shortfall in nursing home beds if the Government does not form an action plan and invest in more infrastructure.

Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland, he said that there is a “dramatically ageing population” and that in the next seven years, the population over the age of 85 is to grow by 46 per cent.

Under supply

He said the residential care plan by government is “broken”, stating that there is a serious under supply in beds which is resulting in more older people presenting to hospital and A&Es across the country and backing up the system, something he said is proving costly to the health service.

He said that there is a need for a range of provisions such as day care, independent living, home care and nursing home care. When put to him that Nursing Homes Ireland has a vested interest in the sector getting a boost, he stated that they do have a vested interest, but said that all stakeholders will benefit.

Stakeholders

“We need stakeholder group led by Department of Health, the HSE, regulated by HIQA and representation by age action to sit down and map out a plan,” he said.

He added that there needed to be a stimulus model, suggesting that lower VAT rate on new builds and refurbishments should be extended to the nursing home sector.

Daly stated that private nursing homes, who he represents, would be the primary beneficiary but said that “profit shouldn’t be a dirty word in our book,” adding that it is much more cost effective for the care to be provided by the private sector, than the acute hospital system being backed up.

He concluded by saying that all stakeholders should be around that table when it comes to formulating a plan.

Read: Older generation feeling ‘harsh impact’ of emigration, says helpline>

Read: ‘Lay off older people’: Elderly grant cuts slammed as ‘sneaky’ and ‘mind-boggling’>

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