An experienced and qualified nursing care provider is being sought by the Department of Health and Social Care to operate a care home on Salisbury Street in Douglas.
Plans for the Department to purchase the newly built facility were put before Tynwald in June as a ‘bold move’ to ‘ease the gridlock’ within the Island’s health and social care system, largely caused by a lack of nursing home capacity within the private sector: a shortage which has led to a growing number of older people in Noble’s Hospital and in residential care being unable to secure a place in a nursing home.
Currently, all of the Island’s nursing homes are privately operated and set their own fees based on market forces. Nursing home care is privately funded, although those who are unable to pay can claim a number of benefits from Social Security to help with the cost.
The Department’s purchase of the Salisbury Street care home aims to address the shortage of nursing care places whilst potentially stimulating the local market to respond to the shortage of nursing home places.
Under the plans, the Department would own the care home but rent the premises to an external provider to operate it on the condition that 40 of the 68 beds are available for the Department to place people in need of nursing care and at a rate no higher than the maximum available through Social Security. Creating this immediate and guaranteed extra capacity means than older people awaiting discharge to nursing care from Noble’s Hospital will no longer find themselves effectively ‘stranded’ on a ward. Not only does this not provide as homely an environment, it is also more expensive than nursing care provided in a care home, and is placing strain on the hospital with full occupancy a regular occurrence on many wards.
Interested parties must submit their expression of interest no later than 12 noon on Monday 15 August 2016. Further information is available here.