Irish care leader says nursing homes not closing to house refugees

Chief executive of Nursing Homes Ireland Tadhg Daly has said no nursing homes have been closed to house refugees.

Daly was speaking following reports that nursing homes were closing in order to accommodate refugees from Ukraine.

Minister for Older People Mary Butler told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that some nursing homes had “changed their business model to provide care to other vulnerable cohorts of society”.

Butler added that nursing homes must give the regulator six months’ notice of their decision to close.

Responding to the minister’s comments, Daly said: “It is disingenuous for the state to now insinuate closures were influenced by factors other than their nursing home not being viable due to failure by the state, through Fair Deal, to recognise the true cost of care.

“It demonstrates a complete lack of acknowledgement by the Department of Health of the fact that nursing home providers are being crushed under a scheme that is utterly broken. It is the Fair Deal Scheme that is directly resulting in nursing homes being forced to close. This has been flagged for years and has gotten progressively worse.”

The minister also announced the government was working on a support scheme to address increasing energy costs in the sector with an announcement due in the coming weeks.

Welcoming the announcement, Daly said: “We note the minister’s commitment to introduce a scheme to offset soaring costs faced by nursing home providers. This needs to be expedited, with the multiple closures of nursing homes in recent weeks reflecting the extreme cost pressures nursing homes are now operating under.”

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