Saint Joseph’s Shankill is Ireland’s largest dementia-specific nursing home

Annual deficits of c. €1m resulting in shortfall of €7 million since 2012

As Ireland’s largest dementia-specific nursing home we revealed today that we may be forced to cease our vital day-care service facility from next January, and gradually wind down the entire facility unless proper public funding is forthcoming for 2020.

At Saint Joseph’s Shankill we provide a home to 60 people living with dementia and provide two respite beds weekly with an additional 120 day care places per week but we have been operating at a significant and unsustainable deficit for over seven years.

Our management today been speaking with our amazing 100 staff and with families about the current funding crisis facing our organisation.

We are chronically underfunded.

Saint Joseph’s Shankill is a private not-for-profit nursing home that is owned and managed by Saint John of God Hospital clg.

We have been engaging with the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) and the Department of Health in recent months on the need for a significant increase to both in-patient and day-care reimbursement payments.

Saint John of God Hospital has been covering the €7m financial shortfall at Saint Joseph’s from its own resources since 2012. This has mainly arisen due to essential capital investment for the upgrading of facilities and increased staffing ratios in line with HIQA’s regulatory requirements.

A further subvention of €1.2m will be required to offset the 2019 deficit. The Hospital says this is not a sustainable or fair way to fund such important services for people living with dementia.

Speaking about the financial crisis, Chief Executive, Emma Balmaine, said

People living with dementia have very different needs to elderly people living in care facilities without dementia. We deliver intensive person-centred, dementia-specific care every day to the 60 people that live in one of the six in-house lodges in Saint Joseph’s and to the people who utilise our 120 day care places and 2 respite beds each week. Dementia care is an end-of life palliative process and we simply cannot continue to offer this specialist long-term care based on the current funding model applied by the NTPF and the HSE. We are paid at considerably lower rates than equivalent public facilities and no account is taken of the added costs associated with meeting the high-dependency needs of the people we care for.

Most resident places in Saint Joseph’s are funded through the Fair Deal (NTPF rate) but the rate is insufficient as it does not take account of the dementia-specific and palliative care needs of these residents who have a terminal diagnosis. Added to that, the day-care rate which is set by HSE has not been increased since 2006 and just last month we were informed that there is still no funding available, despite our warning of potential cessation of the service.
Saint Joseph’s Shankill has endured such significant shortfalls since 2012 that we are now at a stage where we must very regretfully consider winding down our service, which would be devastating for the people who live here, and their families who depend on this vitally important service, as well as our highly dedicated staff and volunteers.
We dearly hope it won’t come to this but we are now obliged to make our service users staff and volunteers aware of the very challenging financial scenario we all now face.” concluded Ms Balmaine.

A robust financial case has been presented to the HSE and NTPF warning that unless a financial solution is urgently agreed, Saint Joseph’s faces the real risk of closure.

We would ask our supporters and friends to assist in any way you can with our campaign to influence the decision makers to ensure a financial sustainable future for Saint Joseph’s.

We will be keeping people up to date on social media  so you can support us there too by liking and sharing our news.

Morning Ireland; 6/11/19

For more information visit:


Media contact:                                

Iarla Mongey     087 235 6461


About Saint Joseph’s Shankill

Saint Joseph’s Shankill is the largest care home in Ireland solely dedicated to dementia care.

Saint Joseph’s Shankill leads the way in dementia care in Ireland through innovation, education, and community engagement and currently employs 100 staff with 100 dedicated volunteers.

It is also a Dementia Care Matters ‘Butterfly Home’ and has moved from a task-orientated medical care model to a needs-based social model of care. In 2019, this facility was nominated for 3 awards by the Irish Healthcare Centre Awards in 2019 and received the Nursing Home Ireland Excellence in Dementia Care Award for 2018.

St Joseph’s Shankill is part of Saint John of God Hospital clg, a company limited by guarantee, not having a share capital. It is registered with the Companies Registration Office (No. 430743), the Charities Regulator (No. 20069858) and with Revenue (CHY No. 18282).

For more information visit: