Strong talk can yield results
Robust debate can be a euphemism for a big row, but it can also mean having a meaningful dialogue regarding important matters. I mention robust because that’s exactly what we had last week at our 2nd annual Nursing Home conference at the Clarion Hotel, Liffey Valley, in Dublin. The full house event, running a full (and frank!) four hours was really interesting from my perspective for a number of reasons.
Nursing homes are peoples’ homes
What was heard from both podium and floor were contributions looking for a united response from the nursing home sector to what was seen as a pincer movement from the NTPF on the one hand and the Valuation Office on the other. One nursing home owner made the very valid point, that I haven’t seen expressed in the public discourse, that all stakeholders must recognise that nursing homes are residents’ homes. They are not patients. The nursing home is home, begging the question as to the legitimacy of applying rates to a person’s home?
Another takeaway for me was the way that some progressive nursing home owners are finding ways of adding value, to both strengthen their businesses as well as helping to move away from a total reliance, in some cases, on NTPF financing. That diversification comes in many forms, including a home care service in one case and a specialisation in dementia care in another.
Consumers not inmates
The event was solely for those working directly in the sector so as to keep the conversation concentrated on ways of solving the undoubted problems being faced by nursing home owners. A special mention must go to consulting solicitor Tom Carney who gave a very clear, unambiguous, run through for nursing home owners on the importance of having a contract between ‘consumer’ (as he wished they were called) and the care home owners. If those contracts are in place, where the charging for provision of services is clearly stated, then what was deemed by attendees as the unfair and uninformed commentary in the national newspapers, regarding the charging for services, could not arise.
(On a lighter note there was a chuckle in the audience when an owner gave her experience of priests invoicing for their mass services. One of my Brenson Lawlor colleagues (he works in VAT) did say he had to check if VAT is applicable to godly services!
Thanks for the use of the hall
I have to say a big thank you to our co-sponsors Davy Private Client as well as the support we got from GVA O’Buachalla (hat tip to a great talk from Siobhán Murphy) and the good news is that we are planning on bringing the event around the country, to those who may not have been in a position to attend this week.
Don’t worry if you missed it
If you’d like to attend please email us now so we can see what part of the country our first event should be in.