The Health Capacity Review published in 2018, in addition to recognising the pressures being faced across the health system in terms of access to healthcare, was an indication of the Government’s desire to plan appropriately for the future. Analysis of future scenarios (based on demographic projections and taking account of envisaged reform measures) shows potential requirements for the period to 2031.
On the back of these findings, the Government committed to introducing health reforms and providing capital funding for an 4,500 additional short and long term residential care beds over the ten years of the National Development Plan (NDP). It is important to recognise that the NDP and implementing Sláintecare are long-term plans. Many proposals for additional service capacity are at an early stage and, as with all proposed developments, will require further appraisal, planning, design and tender before a firm timeline or funding required can be established.
In relation to public nursing homes which provide a combination of long and short-stay beds, capital plans are in place to provide for the replacement/refurbishment of up to 90 units nationally. This programme of investment proposes to deliver up to 215 additional beds in centres being built or refurbished in locations identified as having particular capacity issues.