Nursing home manager warns of funding crisis

A nursing home manger in Northern Ireland has warned of an unprecedented funding crisis facing the sector.

Helen Chambers of Victoria Care Home in south Belfast told the Belfast Telegraph that 20 years of warnings had been ignored by commissioners.

“The problem is right here, right now, and the authorities have been aware this has been coming for some time and done nothing,” Helen said.

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“We’ve had report after study after research and so far we’ve got nowhere and it’s becoming more frustrating for us by the day.”

Highlighting the nursing recruitment crisis, Helen said agency nurses cost £744 for a single shift whereas local authorities were paying £672 per resident per week.

The home manager said the sector was suffering from a lack of central leadership with Northern Ireland having been without a government since its collapse in January 2017.

The Commissioner for Older People Eddie Lynch said the problems facing the sector were highlighted in his Home Truths report on Dunmurry Manor Care Home which is run by Runwood Homes.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “The department is acutely aware of the growing pressures across adult social care. These are by no means unique to Northern Ireland.

“We are committed to an ambitious reform agenda for social care to address these challenges in a sustainable fashion. The HSC in Northern Ireland continues to be committed to ensuring that the quality of care for all our residents in all our care homes remains of the highest standard.”

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