Review of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Fair Deal

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme, Fair Deal, is a system of financial support for people who require long-term nursing home care. The Scheme commenced on the 27th October 2009 and replaced the previous arrangements in respect of both public and private long-term nursing home care.

A commitment was made when the Scheme was introduced that it would be reviewed after three years. The reason for allowing this period to elapse is to ensure that established and validated trends and statistics will be available in order to inform the work.

We would now like to hear from any individual, group or other body that wishes to make a contribution to the review. This includes agencies and other bodies in the public, private, voluntary or community sectors. We would also welcome submissions from residents in nursing homes together with national groups or organisations that reflect the views of their members.

Submissions should be sent to:

Fair Deal Review,
Room 204,
Department of Health,
Hawkins House,
Dublin 2.

or by e-mail to

The closing date for receipt of submissions is close of business on Monday, 16th July 2012.

Written submissions will be subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 & 2003 and may be subject to release. If a person making a submission considers that any element in it is sensitive, those elements should be clearly identified and the reasons for the sensitivity should be specified. The Department will, where possible, consult with the person about any information which he/she has identified as sensitive information before making a decision in response to a request for release under the Freedom of Information Act

Please note that a summary report of submissions received will be published on the Department of Health website after the closing date passes.

Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference for the review are:

Taking account of Government policy, demographic trends and the fiscal situation –

  1. To examine the on-going sustainability of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme,
  2. To examine the overall cost of long-term residential care in public and private nursing homes and the effectiveness of the current methods of negotiating/setting prices,
  3. Having regard to 1. and 2. above, to consider the balance of funding between long-term residential care and community based services,
  4. To consider the extension of the scheme to community based services and to other sectors (Disability and Mental Health), and
  5. To make recommendations for the future operation and management of the scheme.