Broadmeadow Healthcare would strongly endorse the recent DKM report on the Irish Nursing Home sector http://dkm.ie/en/news/report_on_the_future_of_nursing_home_facilities_in_ireland
It is an important re-affirmation of the need for new thinking and policy to build the investment potential of this essential service. The pre-election announcement of the State’s planned Capital Investment in the Public Nursing Home portfolio, while very welcome, is not going to increase or improve the attractiveness of this sector for private investment, and we will continue to depend on the ageing infrastructure that we need to replace, not just physically, but also commercially.
Even before one tries to resolve the HIQA compliance challenges that are constant for private owner/operators, Public Nursing Home provision is just not a cost-effective resource relative to the Private sector – Fact. However, DKM’s central point is that the NTPF-agreed rates, the basis for Fair Deal support, are untenable for a lot of Private providers, and undermine investor considerations, particularly outside of the Greater Dublin area.
Equally, the notion of commercial partnerships between State and private providers, would encourage investors, naturally concerned about the efficacy of decision-making that would be applied under Public agreements, to re-consider the security and payback of investment under commercial service management.
Most of all, the joined-up Public thinking that is required, must show that a) Agreed NTPF Rates reflect quality, skills and dependency requirements, rather than the geographic location, of the Nursing Home team;
b) would underpin and address HIQA’s regulatory needs and
c) also address the latent supply / demand gaps in the more distributed, rural areas, providing both a commercial incentive (EIIS is NOT Enough!) to invest outside of Dublin, and even provide a vibrant, local community service.
This Has to be endorsed by Public policy – hopefully that is on the next Government’s agenda, not just for Health and Social Affairs, but also for Enterprise & Employment.