Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, and the Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, have announced the launch of the Temporary Inflation Payment Scheme (TIPS), an additional support to help private and voluntary nursing homes with inflationary energy cost increases from July to December 2022.
Minister Butler said, “the government and I are keenly aware of the financial challenges faced by the nursing home sector in terms of inflationary cost increases, and we have worked to bring forward appropriate responses. It is a priority for me that all nursing homes providing care to residents under ‘Fair Deal’ are helped to manage temporary energy inflation costs and that residents’ lived experience and comfort is not affected.”
The additional energy supports were announced as part of Budget 2023. A total of €10 million in further funding will be made available specifically for nursing homes, drawn from the €100 million once-off fund that has been allocated to support community-based health and social care service providers for 2022 cost increases related to energy inflation.
The Scheme will open for applications by 11 November at the latest and nursing homes will immediately be able to begin claiming for cost increases incurred since July, with increases calculated on a year-on-year monthly basis, for example, September 2022 energy costs in comparison to September 2021 energy costs. Nursing homes will be required to evidence relevant cost increases via bills, invoices or other relevant documentation.
Minister Butler stated, “the new Scheme will see vouched, eligible year-on-year cost increases reimbursed up to 75%, up to a defined threshold of €5,250 per month for each nursing home. My aim is to make the application process for the Scheme as simple and easy as possible to make sure that nursing homes can access funding quickly.”
The new Scheme will be rolled out using a similar process to the Temporary Assistance Payment Scheme (TAPS) which has been in place since the start of the pandemic. The National Treatment Purchase Fund will play a key role in administering the scheme.
Minister Butler continued, “I am particularly conscious that increased energy costs can often disproportionately affect smaller, family-run and voluntary nursing homes that do not have the same access to economies of scale as larger nursing homes. The purpose of these additional supports is to make sure viable nursing homes do not experience difficulties in delivering services due to the rise in energy costs.”
If nursing homes are eligible for other government support schemes, such as the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme introduced by the Finance Bill, they will not be eligible for TIPS in respect of the same costs over the same period.
The Temporary Inflation Payment Scheme will be kept under review and further funding of these supports will be looked at towards the end of this year.