Hospital toughens stance on care fees
PATIENTS in one of the country's main hospitals who are refusing to be means-tested for nursing home care will be charged €1,365 a week unless they agree to move.
Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, which suffers from ongoing overcrowding, yesterday confirmed it had written to 23 patients warning them of the change.
The letter states the patients will be charged the weekly cost of their care unless they complete and return a Nursing Homes Support Scheme application form by March 26.
Under the scheme, also known as the 'Fair Deal', every person entering a nursing home, both public and private, is medically and financially assessed.
New entrants pay a maximum of 80pc of their income every year towards the cost of their care. If this does not cover the cost, the State pays the remainder.
If nursing home residents own their home they also have to contribute 5pc of the value of this house every year -- but only for up to three years.
A hospital spokesman yesterday confirmed the advisory letters had been sent.
The patients had already been assessed as requiring long-term care but had so far failed to complete the required application form. He said the forms had yet to be returned despite repeated requests.
The HSE confirmed Beaumont was the first hospital to take this stance.
According to latest figures, there are more than 700 people nationwide in hospitals who are fit for discharge but are still occupying beds.