Fair Deal Scheme

  • 33 people in Co Mayo are on the waiting list for the Fair Deal scheme, with 45 in Galway and 24 in Sligo / Leitrim.

    The waiting list nationally has increased by 16% in just 3 weeks, according to the Irish Independent which claims a funding crisis is looming for the Fair Deal scheme, after the HSE failed to adequately budget for people living longer.

    It's now likely the scheme will need a bailout from Government later in the year to deal with the growing backlog.

    Figures obtained by Fianna Fail show that, in the 3-week period from 7th June to the end of that month, the number of people waiting for a placement increased from 729 to 846 and this upward trend is expected to continue.

    The longest waiting list for Fair Deal is in Cork, and the shortest is in Roscommon

     

     

     

     

  • Almost 4,000 homeless children are currently living in emergency accmomodation, while some 9,000 family homes are locked out of the housing market as a result of the Fair Deal nursing home scheme.

    That's according to Roscommon Independent TD Denis Naughten, who recently pointed out that the Fair Deal scheme is effectively banning the renting out of vacant houses belonging to older people in nursing homes, as they are hit with a treble penalty under the current means-test rules.

    The latest homeless figures published yesterday by the Department of Housing show that 3,848 children in 1,726 families are without a home - while up to 9,000 family homes are falling into disrepair due to the rules regarding rental income - that's five vacant homes for each homeless family.

    Speaking to Midwest News today Deputy Naughten says this situation needs to be reviewed ahead of the Budget.

  • The Government has approved a proposal to change the treatment of farms and businesses under the Fair Deal scheme.

    Currently, people using the scheme contribute up to 80 per cent of their income and up to 7.5 per cent of the value of any assets held towards their cost of care.

    The value of a person’s home is only included in the financial assessment for the first three years of their time in a care.

     

    The changes will extend this three year cap to farms and businesses where a family successor continues to operate the farm or business for six years.

     

    Minister of State for Older People Jim Daly said the changes would allow individuals to continue to run the family business without the fear of losing it.

     

    The Department of Health will now draft the general scheme of a bill to provide for the necessary changes to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009.

     

     

     

  • HSE nursing homes in Co Mayo are being paid 61% more to provide care per person than their private and voluntary counterparts, new figures published by the HSE reveal. The HSE published the fees payable to its nursing homes under the Fair Deal scheme on 23rd February, following on from a 16-month delay.  

    Private and voluntary nursing homes are required to negotiate the fees payable to them under the Fair Deal scheme with the NTPF, acting on behalf of the State. However, the fees payable to HSE nursing homes are not subject to negotiation or oversight, with the HSE being the budget-holder and payee.

    The published fees inform the average fee payable to the six HSE nursing homes in Co Mayo is €1,390 per person, per week at February 2018. The average fee payable per person to the 17 private and voluntary nursing homes operating within the county, as of 14th February 2018, is €860 per person, per week. This reveals a 61% differential in the average fees payable in respect of residents between HSE nursing homes in County Mayo and private and voluntary counterparts.

    Nationally, HSE nursing home fees are paid an average 60% above those payable in respect of residents in private and voluntary nursing homes.

  • Farmers from across the country are taking part in an IFA protest today outside the Department of Health in Dublin, in relation to the Fair Deal nursing home scheme.

    The IFA is calling on the Government to deliver on its commitment to introduce a three-year cap on productive assets for farmers.

    At present under the Fair Deal scheme, a person pays 80% of their total income, such as a pension to help fund their care, and on top of this, they commit 75% of the value of their assets as a yearly contribution.

    In the case of the family home, the contribution is capped at 3 years, or 22.5% of the value of the home.

    However, farmers and business person's other assets, such as land, are hit with a 7.5% charge every year, indefinitely.

    IFA President Joe Healy says nursing home fees are placing a huge financial burden on farms, and the Government passed a motion last year agreeing to a three year cap, as farm assets are income-generating assets that pass on to the next generation.

    Mr Healy says the changes need to be introduced without delay, and retrospectively applied to last July, when the commitment was given.

  • Concern is mounting over the rising cost of funding the Fair Deal for nursing home care, as demand for the scheme soars.

    According to today's Irish Independent, state spending on the scheme is expected to hit €1bn this year – and the HSE has acknowledged it is monitoring it on a “week-by-week basis”.

    Over 23,200 people are  availing of the Fair Deal, which is above expectations, and its budget was increased by €24 m to €986m this year.

    If Fair Deal exceeds its allocated budget, it is expected the Minister for Older People Jim Daly will be forced to seek emergency extra funding from the Department of Health.

    Mr Daly said demand for the scheme was “outside of expectations in the year so far” and he has requested more data.

    It comes as farmers take to the streets today, saying the lack of fairness in the scheme for them is costing them up to €40,000 a year in nursing home fees.

     IFA President Joe Healy will lead the protest at the Dept of Health this morning at 11am.

  • 750 older people are to be offered a nursing home place under the Fair Deal scheme.

    The boost in numbers follows months of restrictions by the HSE, which had been putting a limit on the number of places allocated weekly.

    It is expected that top-up funding will now be needed, in addition to the €1bn Fair Deal budget for the year, in an effort to make inroads into a waiting list of people approved for a nursing home place.

    Roscommon Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins told Midwest News recently that she is aware of a number of families paying out thousands of euro weekly for nursing home care for a loved one, who has qualified for the Fair Deal Scheme, but had not secured it.

    In some cases, older people are waiting two months or longer for a place.

    The Irish Independent reported earlier this week that a record 769 patients nationally, who are medically fit could not be discharged because of a lack of step-down care, and were occupying hospital beds.

  • Many families are being faced with huge weekly bills for their loved one in a nursing home, despite their relative having qualified for the Fair Deal scheme that supports nursing home care.

    Delays of up to three months in providing individual funding for people under the scheme at present are totally unacceptable, according to Roscommon Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins.

    She is calling on the Minister for older People Jim Daly to immediately secure additional funding from the Finance Minister Pascal Donohue to reduce the increasing burden on families affected.

  • A Roscommon TD is concerned that the number of people waiting for a nursing home place under the Fair Deal scheme will rise sharply with the onset of Winter.

    Last month, the number of people waiting for Fair Deal rose from 525 on 17th September to 686 on 30th September.

    Fianna Fail for Roscommon-Galway Eugene Murphy says such an increase in a 2-week period is alarming, and points to serious issues within the system.

    While additional funding is being provided for the Nursing Home Support Scheme, Deputy Murphy told Midwest News he's concerned that the waiting lists are increasing across the region.

  • It's emerged the elderly are being hit three times - for renting out their family home under the Fair Deal scheme.

    It means thousands of homes are lying vacant because of fears it could affect their means-test when going into a nursing home.

    Independent Deputy Denis Naughten says they're being caught for the value of the home - the rent it could raise - and the money deposited in their account.

    He says the Government needs to take urgent action 'before whole streets are left derelict' across the country.