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700 beds available in private nursing homes

Nursing Homes Ireland has released details of a survey showing over 700 beds are available within almost 200 member nursing homes across the country.

The information was derived from a snapshot survey undertaken by the organisation on Wednesday. The number of beds available may be much higher as there are more than 370 NHI Member nursing homes and under 180 responded within the short timeframe.

In Clare, there are 11 NHI facilities. The two that responded to the survey had a total of 17 beds available, giving an average availability of 8.5.

Concern has also been expressed by the organisation regarding comments by the Heralth Minister earlier this week advising older people from nursing homes with flu symptoms to refrain from attending A & E.

Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO said,”While recognising the complexity of the situation, the nursing home sector has a key role to play in alleviating the current overcrowding and crisis within our acute hospitals. The snapshot survey undertaken informed 176 nursing homes have immediate bed availability of 742 beds. Bed availability across our Members 370+ nursing homes is likely to be double that revealed by the snapshot survey.”

“Only last week, on December29, Minister Harris heralded 436 patients classified as delayed discharged in acute hospitals as being a new low and representing “hugely welcome progress”. While the HSE has substantially reduced numbers delayed discharged, with timely access to nursing home care playing a lead role in this regard, there must be a concerted focus upon ensuring the hundreds who continue to remain within hospitals can access beds that are available for them within their local nursing homes in an immediate timeframe.”

NHI has shared the survey details informing of the bed availability in Member nursing homes across Ireland with the Minister’s Office, Department of Health officials and the HSE.

Mr Daly added, “Nursing homes are intrinsic to alleviating pressures within our acute hospitals as acknowledged by Minister Harris on Tuesday (January 3). However, his words of support for the nursing home sector need to be followed in deed, not least in resourcing and funding the specialist care provided by our sector.”

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