INFORMATION SHOULD BE MORE TRANSPARENT — MINISTER
IWANT to ensure that we, as a country, are not only successful in adding years to life but ensure that we are adding life to years.
I place huge emphasis, not only on the quality of care provided, but also efforts to improve the quality of living afforded to residents of our nursing homes.
I have met with Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) a number of times on this subject and requested more consistency and transparency on the part of nursing homes in dealing with additional charges for social activities.
I have asked that nursing homes advise of these charges on enquiry level, as opposed to the current practice of admission. I have also suggested NHI considers the option of its members providing a profit and loss account detailing monies collected and spent on such social activities.
I also requested an updated template be used by all nursing homes and that homes publish all social charges online.
I met with Age Action Ireland, the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) and the Ombudsman on the topic in recent weeks.
The Ombudsman received 30 complaints regarding nursing homes last year and 36 so far this year. Just one complaint last year related to charges.
There is currently an interdepartmental review of the Fair Deal scheme and I have asked them to also consider this issue before reporting back to me.
My main priority is to ensure that nursing homes continue to provide a wide and engaging range of activities for their residents and to provide maximum and optimum transparency and consistency on all charges.