September 14th

The public can now bring complaints about private nursing homes to Ombudsman Peter Tyndall.  From 24 August 2015 the Ombudsman has had his powers extended so that he can independently examine complaints about private nursing homes in receipt of public funding under subvention or through the Nursing Home Support Scheme (also known as ‘Fair Deal’).    

The Ombudsman had always been able to examine complaints about HSE-run nursing homes.  However the Ombudsman had previously highlighted a gap in independent oversight of such homes.  Residents of public nursing homes could have their complaints independently examined while most residents in private nursing homes could not.

Ombudsman Peter Tyndall said:

"The extension of my remit will ensure that some of the most vulnerable people in our communities can have their complaints examined independently".

The Ombudsman can examine complaints about events that occur on or after 24 August 2015.  Before bringing a complaint to the Ombudsman, the person affected must have tried to resolve their complaint with the nursing home in the first case.

In order to assist private nursing homes deal with complaints the Ombudsman has hosted information seminars across the country for private nursing home owners.  The Ombudsman has also designed a ‘model complaints system’ for nursing homes, which includes a sample ‘complaint form’.

Further information on the Ombudsman’s role in relation to private nursing homes is available in a Fact Sheet in the Private Nursing Homes Information section on the Ombudsman’s website www.ombudsman.ie.  If you are the owner of a private nursing home and would like some more information, you can email: nursinghomes@ombudsman.gov.ie.