Updated Costs for Public Nursing Homes Announced by HSE

HSE Media Release: 27 February 2020

The HSE has today published its annual updated cost of providing care in its public residential care centres for older people.

In 2020, there is a minor increase in the average cost of care from €1,615 per week in 2019 to €1,665 in 2020.

This 2.4% increase is influenced by pay increases provided under the Lansdowne Road Agreement (funded separately to NHSS funds allocated within the HSE Service Plan 2020).

These costs apply to the operating costs of providing care in these centres.

They do not relate to the amount a person will pay towards their care under the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (Fair Deal).  

It is acknowledged that there are variations in the cost of care across public centres as well as across private nursing homes, with public nursing homes generally having a higher cost of care. 

A number of factors contribute to these costs including;

  •  Reductions in the number of long-stay public beds to comply with health and safety, fire regulations and HIQA compliance with residential care standards, while fixed costs such as lighting, heating, maintenance costs have increased.
  •  Provision of residential care services in locations that are not viable for private providers -  many of these units are smaller centres which would not be profitable for a private provider to   supply e.g. Achill Island, Donegal etc.
  •  Public nursing homes generally have higher nurse staffing ratios in place than private nursing homes. 

A review of NHSS published in 2015, recommended that a ‘Value for Money and Policy’ review be undertaken by the Dept of Health.

The work on the VFM is currently on-going.

Last updated on: 27 / 02 / 2020