Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Health

Nursing Home Services

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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To ask the Minister for Health the efforts he has made, since his meeting in Dingle, County Kerry, with representatives of Valentia Community Hospital last February, to help ensure the bodies affecting its future would work to help secure its future; the effort he is willing to make at this juncture; his views on whether it would be useful for the Health Service Executive, National Treatment Purchase Fund and his Department to meet collectively with representatives of the hospital; if he will encourage such a meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57632/12]

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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Officials from the Department of Health met with representatives from both the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) and the HSE on the 21st March to discuss the issue of nursing homes, including Valentia Hospital, which received funding for long-term residential care services under Section 39 of the Health Act 2004 prior to the commencement of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme.

As the Deputy is aware, the outcome of this meeting was that the NTPF undertook to tender for a forensic accounting service to support it in its role of negotiating prices with private and voluntary nursing homes under Section 40 of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009. This would include an assignment to provide factual input to an NTPF review of section 39 nursing homes, including Valentia Hospital.

Following the appointment of the forensic accountants, a review of the section 39 nursing homes was carried out. I understand that, in the case of Valentia Hospital, the NTPF offered an increase to the rate following the review. This offer was rejected, however, I understand that the NTPF remains open to negotiations with Valentia Hospital.

With regard to the question of a meeting between the Department, the HSE, the NTPF and Valentia Hospital, I do not consider that this would be appropriate. The NTPF is independent in the performance of its function under Section 40 of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009 and, in carrying it out, must ensure value for money for both nursing home residents and the State.


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