The need for the Minister for Health to update Seanad Eireann on how the fair deal scheme is performing

Question Posed To: 
Minister for Health

At the end of October this year almost 22,200 people were in receipt of financial support towards the cost of
long-term nursing home care. In addition to residents who are in receipt of financial support under the Scheme,
this figure includes people who were in public nursing homes before the Scheme commenced, people in receipt
of subvention and people in contract beds. A further 769 people had been approved for funding, but were not yet
in payment. In addition, there were 371 people on the placement list for funding. It currently takes
approximately three to four weeks for funding to issue. All individuals who are approved for funding under the
Scheme are put onto a national placement list in chronological order based on the date of determination of their
application. Funding is issued to individuals in this chronological order to ensure equity nationally. When the
Scheme commenced in October 2009, a commitment was made that it would be reviewed after three years. A
public consultation process to inform the review concluded in mid-July. The Department will be publishing a
summary report of the submissions received. Thereafter, the Department will be seeking tenders through the
public procurement process for the carrying out of the review. A considerable amount of preparatory work for
the review has already been completed. It will progress within the constraints of available staff and other
priorities. At this stage it is envisaged that the review will be completed in 2013. The Scheme provides financial
support towards the cost of long-term residential care services. The services which fall within the scope of long
term residential care are: nursing and personal care appropriate to the level of care needs of the person,
. bed and board,. basic aids and appliances necessary to assist a person with the activities of daily living, and
. laundry service.
Incontinence wear, where required, is provided free of charge by the RSE to all Nursing Homes Support
Scheme residents who possess a Medical Card. Individuals availing of the Scheme should not be charged any
additional fee over and above the contribution which has been calculated by the RSE, except where he or she
chooses to obtain additional services over and above lonn-term residential care services. Under the Health Act
2007 (Care and Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People) Regulations 2009, the registered
provider must agree a contract with each resident within one month of their admission. This contract must
include details of the services to be provided to that resident and the fees to be charged. Residents should not be
charged fees which are not set out in the contract and agreed with the resident. The Health Act 2007 gives
statutory responsibility to the Chief Inspector of Social Services, part of the Health Information and Quality
Authority, for the independent inspection and registration of certain categories of designated centres. This
includes residential care settings for older people. The Chief Inspector has the power to refuse to register, attach
conditions to a registration or cancel the registration of a designated centre in the event of non-compliance with
the Care & Welfare Regulations or the National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older
People in Ireland.