Can we afford the fair deal

The government’s Fair Deal nursing home scheme is in crisis again, and experts increasingly believe it is unsustainable

Susan Mitchell

Deputy Editor and Health Editor @susmitchellsbp
23rd December, 2014
Average waiting time for a nursing home place is 15 weeks Picture: Getty

Once again the health service is trying to grapple with thousands of elderly patients who are languishing on waiting lists to access nursing homes. Some are stuck at home; others are living with their families and hundreds are in hospital beds.

Exactly the same problem occurred just after this government was elected in 2011.

Then, the cash-strapped Fair Deal nursing home scheme had more than 4,000 people on waiting lists. Funding had ground to a halt.

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