Thursday, 8 November 2012

Questions (24)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

24. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Health in view of the fact that 1,201 public nursing home beds have been closed between January 2011 and August 2012, the current total number of nursing home beds in the State; the number public and the number private; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48964/12]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The latest validated information from the Health Service Executive indicates that at the end of September 2012 there were 7,376 public residential beds for older people in Ireland. Of these, 5,468 are designated long stay beds and 1,908 are designated as short term beds. The Deputy will be aware that the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is the statutory body responsible for the registration of all designated centres for older people. Full details of all currently registered nursing homes, including the maximum number of residents who can be accommodated can be found on the HIQA website, www.hiqa.ie .

However, the Department of Health carries out a survey of long-stay units each year. Each long-stay unit (public, private and voluntary) is sent a questionnaire and the responses are collated by the Department. The aim of the survey is to provide statistics on the number of beds available for long-term care, how these beds are used and the types of residents who occupy these beds. The results of the surveys are used to prepare the Long-Stay Activity Statistics Reports which are published on the Department's website. The Long-Stay Activity Statistics for 2010, the most recent year available, and for previous years can be accessed at www.doh.ie . The completed survey for 2011 will be published shortly. Each report provides a breakdown of the number of private and public beds in each County on a unit by unit basis. The Deputy should be mindful that these are self reported survey results.