Waterford TD slams fair deal scheme delay crisis
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Older People Mary Butler TD is warning of a crisis in the Fair Deal scheme unless urgent action is taken to address the long delays being experienced by families waiting for a place.
In June, the waiting times for a place in a nursing home stood at 4 weeks, but over the past two months, this has increased to 8 weeks, with some parts of the country experiencing waits of up to 12 weeks.
Deputy Butler said: “The rapid increase in the waiting times over the past two months is extremely worrying, and should act as a red flag for the Minister coming into the winter. Unless these backlogs are addressed the situation will escalate and we could see a situation whereby more than 1,000 people will be waiting on a place come the autumn. The system will simply not be able to cope under that pressure and families will pay the price."
“I have been receiving calls from families right across the country who are at the end of their tether because they do not know when their loved one will be assigned a place. In many cases, their relatives are being forced to stay in hospital, despite the fact that they are well enough to be discharged because they are still waiting on the Fair Deal scheme to secure a bed for them."
“Not only is this extremely distressing for these families, but it is also having a major impact on our acute hospitals. People who are well enough to leave hospital are being kept in until a place in a nursing home can be secured. This is putting our hospitals under massive pressure – only yesterday there were 515 people on trolleys in our Emergency Departments. This could be vastly reduced if the Fair Deal scheme worked more efficiently."
“Minister Jim Daly must get to grips with the seriousness of the situation – the figures are beginning to spiral and they urgently need to be brought under control. Unless specific actions are taken we will be facing a major crisis in older people’s services this winter."