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Ireland’s Nursing Home Sector Grapples with Staff Shortages and Operational Struggles

Dublin: Similar to the challenges faced by hospitals, Ireland’s nursing home sector is currently in the midst of a crisis, characterised by insufficient staff and a notable dropout rate among existing personnel. The predicament is particularly acute in smaller care homes, which are encountering significant operational difficulties, according to insiders in the field.

An alarming trend reveals a substantial exodus of nurses from the nursing home sector in Ireland. To fill the void, individuals from countries like India and the Philippines are being recruited for nursing home positions, often facilitated through visas at a considerable cost. However, once employed, many of these individuals end up transitioning to work in hospitals, exacerbating management challenges within the nursing home facilities. A post-pandemic report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) indicates that 38% of long-term care in the country is managed through a mere 15 nursing homes.

Stakeholders such as Nursing Homes Ireland and the Irish Society of Physicians in Geriatric Medicine are sounding the alarm about the critical issues faced by nursing homes across the country. Joseph Peters, the proprietor of the 40-bed Powdermill Nursing Home in Ballincollig, underscores the formidable challenge of retaining staff, emphasising the acute shortage of nurses in Ireland. Peters notes that, remarkably, there hasn’t been a single application from an Irish nurse in gerontology in the past decade.

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