Dublin dementia home in danger of closing down due to lack of funds

Dublin dementia home in danger of closing down due to lack of funds

A funding shortfall of a €1m a year means management have no choice but to close a Dublin dementia care home.

St John of Gods says it cannot afford to keep the 60 residential beds at St Joseph's in Shankill open.

They have been in talks with the National Treatment Purchase Fund, but says the rate being paid is too low to cover costs.

John of God's chief executive, Emma Balmaine says there's a huge demand for its dementia services.

"Unfortunately we had negotiations last Thursday which haven't gone well and we are at a loss now as to how we are going to solve it and keep the residential side open. My board has taken the very sad and unfortunate decision that we now have to cease admissions and this is despite the fact that we have a huge demand for dementia specialist care facilities.

"In fact, St Joseph's has over 350 people on our waiting list.

"We have to negotiate our rate with the National Treatment Purchase Fund," she explained, adding they have a shortfall of €1m each year.

"By the end of this month, we will have put €8m in St Joseph's since 2012 which is the shortfall that we have had to make up and, unfortunately, we are not in a position to do that into 2020," she added.

Labour Senator Kevin Humphreys says the government has reneged on its promise to keep the centre open.

He is calling on Health Minister Simon Harris to step in and increase the funding rate, adding he is "disgusted" with the situation.

"The Minister for Health Simon Harris made a commitment that the doors of St Joseph's would not be closed and now it looks very likely that it will be because of under-funding from the HSE.

I think it is unacceptable the way people have been treated.

"I call now for Minister Harris to immediately provide funding for the residential beds in St Joseph's of Shankhill," he added.

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