Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
352. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of long-stay public and private beds currently available for patients; the extent to which this number has fluctuated in the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13658/11]
Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): There has been an increase in the total number of nursing home beds over the last five years. The Annual Survey of Long Stay Units published by the Department reports that in:
With the commencement of the registration and inspection of nursing homes under the Health Act 2007 (Registration of Designated Centres for Older People) Regulations on 1 July 2009 all existing nursing homes had to inform the Chief Inspector of Social Services (part of the Health Information and Quality Authority) of their existence within six months. By 31 December 2009 the Chief Inspector had received notification from 591 designated centres, (public and private) with a maximum capacity of 29,285 beds. In 2010 it is estimated that there was a total of approximately 30,000 beds in public and private nursing homes.
The latest available figures from the Health Service Executive indicate that on 31 March 2011 the total public capacity was 8,388 beds. This includes long-stay, respite, convalescence, palliative places and temporarily closed beds. While the numbers of beds given above are not directly comparable they do indicate an increasing trend in total bed numbers over the period. This is supported by Nursing Homes Ireland’s Annual Private Nursing Home Survey 2009/2010 which reports a 38% increase in the private nursing home bed supply since 2003.
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