Significant amendment to Health Act 2007 of serious concern to NHI & AIGNA

Nursing Homes Ireland today, June 6th, echoed the remarks of the President of the All Ireland Gerontological Nurses Association, Professor Brendan McCormack, who spoke regarding a significant amendment to the Health Act 2007 that is of serious concern to NHI and the Association.

Professor McCormack was speaking in advance of the opening of the AIGNA Annual Conference, which will take place in Cork on June 7th. 

NHI shares the concerns outlined by AIGNA regarding the significant amendment to the Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People) which removes the requirement to have a nurse on duty and in charge of designated centres at all times, where the centre provides care only to those who have been assessed as not requiring full-time nursing care.

NHI is particularly concerned at the implications of this amendment and the fact that this has been signed into law in the absence of research and meaningful consultation

NHI has formally written to Minister for Health Dr James Reilly expressing such concern and calling upon the Department of Health to outline the policy intention behind the amendment. Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO stated: “It is incumbent upon the Department of Health to outline the thinking behind this significant change in policy. This amendment to the Care and Welfare Regulations has occurred in isolation and not as part of an overall strategy required in respect of residential care services for older people. The policy implications, together with the practical implementation of this policy, must be communicated to all stakeholders as a priority.”

NHI has also funded research commissioned by AIGNA entitled “Exploring nursing expertise in residential care for older people in Ireland” and this research is due for publication in October.

Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO, is available for further comment. For further information contact Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications & Research Officer at 01 4292570 / 087 9082970.

Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) is the representative organisation for the private and voluntary nursing homes sector. This sector, and the care our members provide, is a key part of the Irish health service.

Private and voluntary nursing homes:

• Care for 20,590 residents
• Account for more than 70% of all long term care beds in the country, and,
• Employ more than 21,000 staff

Nursing Homes Ireland is committed to providing leadership, supporting members and promoting excellence.