'Fair Deal change could hit hospitals'
Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) has expressed concern at changes to the Nursing Home Support (Fair Deal) Scheme, which it fears could lead to more delayed discharge of 'bed-block' patients in acute hospitals.
Financial support under the scheme will now be paid in respect of the date the application for support is approved or the date of admission to the nursing home, whichever is later.
NHI says under previous arrangements, financial support was paid from the date of the application or the date of admission, whichever was later.
"It is important to note that the revision is not retrospective and all applications prior to October 1 will be backdated to the date of approval or date of application."
Tadhg Daly of NHI says his organisation is concerned at the implications of this change and believes it could have a negative effect on the timely and appropriate discharge of hospital patients needing nursing home care.
He said the guideline changes, along with the funding difficulties it may create for families and the slowdown in approvals for funding, may lead to increasing numbers of delayed discharges from hospitals which will exacerbate the existing difficulties in the acute hospital system and in emergency departments.
The guideline changes will lead to some patients having to pay out large sums of money for care while they wait to be cleared for financial assistance the Fair Deal Scheme, according to to a report in today's Irish Independent.
[Posted: Fri 07/10/2011]