Midlands HSE Run Nursing Homes Have Fees Double Those For Private

Residents in Laois saw the biggest difference in cost.

Fees for HSE-run nursing homes in the midlands are more than double those for private or voluntary homes.

The figures, compiled by Nursing Homes Ireland, show the average weekly fee for a HSE-run facility in the region is over €2,200 , while going private costs just over €1,000.

Residents in Laois saw the biggest difference in cost between facilities operated by the Health Service and private nursing homes, at over €1,500 per week.

That's followed by the variation between the two in Westmeath, at just over €1,000.

The difference in Offaly just barely stays below the four digit mark, where a private facility is €950 cheaper every week, than one ran by the HSE.

Laois Offaly Independent TD Carol Nolan is due to question the Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly, on the matter later today.

She says there needs to be a level playing field for private or voluntary providers, but more importantly for those 'with no option' but to pay the HSE nursing home demands.

HSE Nursing Homes Weekly fees as of January 2023

Average - €2,214

Laois - €2,585

Offaly - €1,959

Westmeath - €2,099

Private or Voluntary Nursing Home fees as of January 2023

Average - €1,014

Laois - €1,039

Offaly - €1,009

Westmeath - €996

Statement from the HSE:

Decisions on reimbursement to private nursing homes are not a matter for the HSE. There are variations in the cost of care in public nursing homes and private nursing homes, with public nursing homes generally having a higher cost of care.

A higher cost of care is due to reductions in the number of long-stay public beds in public nursing homes / Community Nursing Units to comply with HIQA residential care standards.  At the same time the nursing homes fixed costs such as lighting, heating and maintenance costs remain.

Public nursing homes generally have reported higher ratios of nursing and other staff in place than private nursing homes.

Rates of pay and leave entitlements in the public sector are higher than in the private sector.
In 2023, the paid cost of care, per bed, per week in public nursing homes is €1,844.  This is an increase from €1,698 in 2022. The cost of care was set at the 2022 paid rate, plus the pay increases for public servants awarded in 2022, as per the Building Momentum, pay agreement.

These costs apply to the operating costs of providing care in public nursing homes.  The amount a nursing home resident pays towards the cost of their nursing home care under the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (Fair Deal) is calculated based on the value of their assets and income when they apply for nursing home care.  This calculation follows the requirements of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009.

The cost of care at public Nursing Homes/Community Nursing Units is calculated annually by the HSE and implemented as part of the funding process for Public Units under the NHSS Act 2009.

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