Management at Saint Joseph’s Shankill is calling on the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) to expedite an Appeal process which it says would now be prepared to enter into, in order to reach a positive resolution to its ongoing funding crisis.
In a letter to the NTPF today, Saint Joseph’s management rejected the current offer on the table in respect of its residential reimbursement rate – on the basis that it was unsustainable and would not adequately fund the level of high dependency care required by residents at the specialist Shankill facility.
Chief Executive Emma Balmaine has requested the triggering of a formal Review process to be undertaken by the CEO of the Fund, and at the behest of her Board of Directors, also requested that this be conducted as a matter of urgency and concluded prior to the next scheduled Board meeting on 24 January 2020.
The funding crisis currently threatens the future of 60 high dependency residential places at Saint Joseph’s Shankill which is the country’s largest specialist Dementia care facility. In early December, Saint Joseph’s was forced to cease all new residential admissions pending a resolution to the crisis.
Management has also informed staff and families today of the decision butsaid it did not believe the NTPF appeal process would ultimately deliver the sustainable level of funding needed. They explained that they were taking part in good faith and in response to a request by Minister Simon Harris, to exhaust all avenues in the bid for a sustainable and viable funding solution for Saint Joseph’s Shankill.
They thanked staff and families for their strong support encouragement and backing over the last couple of months and said the fight to save Saint Joseph’s continues. The facility would keep its doors open in the interim and hold the Minster to his commitment to keep Saint Joseph’s in operation.
They said a fundamental inequity needed to be addressed in the system – whereby a person availing of specialist residential care in Saint Joseph’s today will receive a maximum contribution from the NTPF of €1325 – whereas someone attending a publicly funded nursing home which may not even offer such specialised care, could be getting up to €1850 from the NTPF.
It said the Saint Joseph’s campaign is about ending this inequity, bridging that gap, and achieving a real ‘fair deal’ for its residents that is based on their specialist requirements and the specialist services being provided to meet those needs.