In the Irish Mail on Sunday, edition June 22, 2014, a joint article from Niamh Griffin and I was published analysing the datasets of prices for public and private nursing homes in Ireland from 2009 to April 2014. (I’ve also uploaded the private nursing home dataset on this website as well.)
The analysis in the article found that 75% of public nursing homes had decreased and 75% of private nursing homes have increased in price since 2009 but public ones are still charging, on average, 40% more than private nursing homes.
The article listed the top three most expensive and least expensive counties for both public and private nursing homes. I’ve compiled the complete list of averages per county below:
2014 public nursing home average prices (per week per bed), listed in ascending order
2009 public nursing home average prices (per week per bed), listed in ascending order
April 2014 private nursing home average prices (per week per bed), listed in ascending order
2009 private nursing home average prices (per week per bed), listed in ascending order
As you can see from the tables above, counties in the western seaboard of Ireland tend to be cheaper, which is supported by Gerald O’Nolan, health economics lecturer at University Limerick, who said: “There is also a geographical issue, in that property and labour costs are affected by location, if you compare Dublin with Leitrim.”
From the data compiled from HSE, 90 public nursing homes(out of 116) have decreased in price since 2009. For those that have decreased in price, the average decrease was 14.85%, or €167. 23 public nursing homes (out of 116) have increased in price. The average increase was 6.08%, or €88.23.
328 private nursing homes (out of 440) have increased in price since 2009, the average being 10.17%, or €75, while only 64 (out of 440) have decreased in price since 2009, the average decrease being 2.7%, or €21.16.
I have plotted the highest and lowest prices for each county for both public and private nursing homes.
As shown in the graphs above, Kildare has actually the most expensive lowest priced public nursing home service at €1,455 per week while Waterford has the cheapest public nursing home service in Ireland at €430 a week. Those in Monaghan can expect to be paying at most €978 for a bed at a public nursing home.
The public nursing home that has decreased the most in price since 2009 is the Royal Hospital in Donnybrook, Dubin. They currently charge €1,255 per bed per week, but they had been charging €1,984 a week five years ago, a €729 difference.
Simpson’s hospital in Dundrum, Dublin, was the private nursing home to increase its price the most. They now charge €1,080 but they had been charging €825 in 2009, a €255 difference.
The most expensive public nursing home is Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6. They charge €2,518 per bed per week, however this is much cheaper than what they were charging in 2009. They had been charging €3,182 per week five years ago. A spokeswoman for OLH said: “Under the Nursing Home Support Scheme (Fair Deal) the HSE pays Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services €1365 per week per occupied bed. The actual cost is €2518 per week per bed and currently Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services uses its own resources to meet the balance.Under the legislation all the NHSS( Fair Deal) payment will cover is basic bed and board.”
“What the NHSS (Fair Deal) figure does not pay for and what our residents receive is full medical and nursing care, drugs, equipment such as motorised wheelchairs and treatments including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, aromatherapy, art and music therapy. The service we provide at Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services is over and above what is delivered in a traditional nursing home setting,” she said.
St. Joseph’s Centre in Clonsilla, Dublin is the most expensive private nursing home, which costs €1,395 a week and had cost €1,335 a week five years ago.
A spokesperson from St. Joseph’s Centre said: “Meeting the needs of our cohort of residents, in a person centred manner, demands a high ratio of staff to residents as their needs are of both a physical and dementia related nature, and the activities required for socialisation are specifically dementia focused.”
It should be noted that these prices nursing homes charge would often include additional health and care services which are not covered under the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (Fair Deal). Under Fair Deal, only bed and board, and basic health and care services are covered – cost from additional services would be recouped elsewhere such as fundraising efforts or through the patients’ medical cards, if they have one.