Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Ceisteanna (113)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

113. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if there are funding issues with regard to the fair deal scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16792/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), commonly referred to as Fair Deal, is a system of financial support for people who require long-term residential care. Participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their means while the State pays the balance of the cost. The Scheme aims to ensure that long-term nursing home care is accessible and affordable for everyone and that people are cared for in the most appropriate settings. 

As outlined in the HSE's National Service Plan for 2019, the NHSS is expected to support 23,042 people in 2019. The NHSS budget for 2019 is €985.8m which is an increase of €24.3m over its 2018 budget. This increase in funding is aimed at maintaining existing levels of service in the Scheme, having regard for cost pressures in Scheme.

As part of normal governance and performance management arrangements my officials and the HSE maintain regular service area engagements, which also form part of ongoing collaborative work on issues relating to older persons policy and service delivery. I understand that as part of these regular engagements the HSE has recently highlighted that, on the basis of preliminary data and intelligence, activity levels relating to the NHSS may be outside of expectations in the year so far.

The Department has requested further and more detailed information and data in this regard. My officials are engaging with the HSE and will continue to do so over the next few weeks to fully assess the situation, including a detailed analysis and validation of this data and to understand if specific trends can be identified. This work will help to inform a view on the Scheme activity and financial projections for the remainder of 2019.