A specialist dementia care facility in south Dublin, St Joseph’s Shankill, has informed staff and families of awaiting patents that it will no be longer be accepting any new residential admissions due to funding cuts.
The facility is currently home to 60 people living with dementia and provides two respite beds with an additional 120 days care places per week. However, the service has ran at a deficit over the past seven years.
In November, Dublin Gazette reported that the facility was in risk of complete closure if more funding could not be sourced but after productive meetings with the Health Service Executive (HSE), it’s daycare services with be adequately funded into 2020.
However, the same cannot be said for it’s residential services which will now be severely rolled back.
Discussions with the National Treatment Purchase Fund have failed to deliver an acceptable resolution in terms of the funding required to sustain the 60 residential places, and thus, new admissions have halted.
Chief Executive of Saint Joseph’s, Emma Balmaine said that “talks had been progressing well up until the end of last 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.”
Speaking on the news, Labour senator and member of the All Party Oireachtas Group on Dementia, Kevin Humphreys, said that he was “extremely concerned” and it is “clear to everyone just how vital this centre is for the residents and users of the service and their families.”