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Officials raise concerns over private nursing homes ‘cherry-picking’ clients and avoiding complex ne

This is according to minutes from the Interdepartmental Working Group to Oversee the Implementation of Recommendations of the Review of the Nursing Homes Scheme. The minutes were seen by the Medical Independent (MI) following a Freedom of Information request.

The issue of a “small number of people with exceptional/complex needs” was raised at the January meeting of the group. The meeting heard that there was a “concern that private nursing homes may be ‘cherry-picking’ clients”, although the meeting also noted that there “could understandably be an assumption that public nursing home provision would cater for these high-dependency individuals”.

Last week, a Department of Health spokesperson told MI that the number of ‘complex needs’ individuals involved is approximately 21 people.

“Delayed discharges can arise when a patient has been judged clinically to no longer have a requirement for acute hospital care but remains in an acute hospital,” said the spokesperson.

“The most recent information available (21 June 2016) in relation to delayed discharges show that of those whose eventual destination will be long-term nursing home care, there are difficulties in finding placements that can cater for their specific needs in the case of 21 patients.

“The pricing review currently being conducted by the NTPF is considering how to ensure there is adequate residential capacity for residents who require higher-level or more complex care. Given the complexity of needs and high dependency of some patients, in many instances it is public nursing homes who provide for these care needs.”

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