Review of the Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Older People in Designated Centres) Regulations - IMO Submission to the Department of Health and Children - Feb 2011
The IMO has welcomed the introduction of regulations and standards for the care and welfare of older people in residential settings, however, their implementation is not without cost and must be funded appropriately.
Because of the tendering arrangements (no therapies, aids or continence wear, for example) and pricing levels under the Nursing Home Support Scheme, the IMO has grave concerns about the feasibility of providing adequate care at current funding levels.
There has been a sustained and regrettable lack of capital investment in public nursing homes, and the moratorium on recruitment is having a significant impact on appropriate staffing levels. Many public nursing homes have run into difficulties or closed as in the case of Dingle, Loughloe, and Sir Patrick Duns.
The IMO has made a number of recommendations including:
- Urgent review is needed of HSE and DoHC policy and practice for care in nursing homes, and the current regulations, if not backed up by the recommendations below, are not sufficient on their own to respond to the very grave systematic deficits uncovered by the Leas Cross Reviews.
- Adequate funding (both capital and operational) must be provided for public nursing homes to ensure they comply with and exceed minimum standards.
- Contracting for private nursing home places must be gerontologically-informed, take into account the full range of needs, and specifically include the provision of therapists and aids/appliances.