Government delays closure of nursing homes in effort to tackle hospital overcrowding

Government delays closure of nursing homes in effort to tackle hospital overcrowding

The Government has agreed a deal with HIQA to prevent a raft of public nursing homes from being closed.

The availability of nursing home accommodation has been highlighted in recent days due to the overcrowding crisis at hospital emergency departments.

However, it emerged last week that 80 homes are facing closure if they are not brought up to HIQA standards this year.

Some of the issues which need to be addressed include the number of beds in each room.

Junior Health Minister Kathleen Lynch said that the Health Information and Quality Authority has now agreed to extend the deadline for closure, provided there is a commitment to a timeframe for the works.

"What we have now agreed is that if the units, even those that need substantial refurbishment, or even those that need to be replaced - if we can come up with a time-bound plan that will ensure that they will meet HIQA standards within a three-year period … HIQA will agree to that," she said.

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