Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Questions (329, 330, 331)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

329. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Health the provisions in place for community care homes in County Kilkenny facing a deficit in 2019. [41641/19]

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Kathleen Funchion

Question:

330. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Health if community care homes are part of Sláintecare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41642/19]

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Kathleen Funchion

Question:

331. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Health his plans to set up a national fund to help community care homes with the cost of improvements and upgrades as a result of HIQA visits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41643/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 329 to 331, inclusive, together.

A key principle underpinning Government policy is to support older people to live in their own home as long as possible.

There will, however, always be people whose needs are best met in a residential care setting or supported housing model. There are 10 Supported Care Homes in Community Healthcare Organisation Area 5 providing accommodation and support services to older people with low to medium dependency levels. The residents cannot be maintained independently at home, but do not yet require nursing home care.

The HSE acknowledges the role played by these Homes in reducing possible admission to nursing homes and I have been assured by the HSE that it is committed to ensuring Supported Care Home are supported. The HSE will provide about €2.5 million in Section 39 funding this year towards the operational costs of the Homes.

HIQA is the independent statutory body established to register and inspect all residential homes for older people. The current regulatory regime aims to ensure the provision of high-quality, safe and effective services to people living in these centres, whether they are nursing homes providing 24-hour nursing care or supported care homes for people with lower dependencies.

As people get older, their housing needs may change. Earlier this year the Government published a Policy Statement “Housing Options for our Ageing Population” which provides a policy framework to support our ageing population through increasing the accommodation options available to them and give them meaningful choice in how and where they choose to live. It also sets out a package of key actions to assist the development of models of supported housing that promote integration between housing and health and social care services.

An Inter-Departmental and Inter-Agency Implementation Groups has been established to progress the programme of actions contained in the policy statement. This will assist in developing a menu of solutions which are available nationally to provide enhanced housing and support options for older people.

The establishment of the Implementation Groups and the implementation of the policy statement are key actions in the 2019 Sláintecare Action Plan. Many of the health related action points are influenced by and integrated with broader Sláintecare actions.

The level of funding available to supported care homes is being considered in the context of the HSE's National Service Plan for 2020.

Question No. 332 answered with Question No. 324.