Management at the specialist dementia care facility St Joseph’s Shankill have informed staff and families of people relying on its services that it has been left with no option but to cease residential admissions with immediate effect.
Saint Joseph’s Shankill is home to 60 people living with dementia and provides two respite beds and an additional 120 day care places per week but has been operating at a significant and unsustainable deficit for over seven years.
Management have informed its 100 staff and families of people who rely on the facility that it had had very positive engagement with the HSE in recent weeks, so much so that it was happy that its daycare services could now be funded into 2020.
However, discussions with the National Treatment Purchase Fund had failed to deliver an acceptable resolution in respect of the increased funding required to sustain its 60 residential places, and this has resulted in this latest decision to cease admissions
Speaking today Chief Executive Emma Balmaine said she was disappointed to have to make the announcement “Talks had been progressing well up until the end of this week. The HSE had come to the table, they understood our issues and we have an agreed way forward for continuing to fund daycare into 2020. Unfortunately the talks with NTPF are not progressing in the same vein. We will of course continue to engage but the gap between what’s on offer and what is needed to sustain this high-dependency service into the future, is still far too wide. We will do everything possible to save St Joseph’s – however time is running out in respect of securing the necessary budget for 2020, and our Board is firmly of the view that there is no basis as of now, to enable us accept any new admissions at this time.”
Management also appealed to supporters and staff to continue the ongoing campaign and that their help would be more important than ever in order to secure sustainable funding for the facility. They said Minister Simon Harris would be held to account in respect of what he has committed to previously and should honour his pledge to keep St Joseph’s open and it looked forward to studying the findings of the Nursing Home Pricing Review which the Minister said would be published several weeks ago.