A major re-think on the nursing home subvention regulations is needed, according to general election candidate Cllr. John Kelly. Cllr. Kelly is claiming that inadequacies in the system are hurting the less well off. ‘For example, the enhanced subvention as we know it, will rarely if ever apply to an applicant in Co. Roscommon, as the cap is set at €100 less than the market price that care can actually be provided for. The average cost of care in this region was estimated to be €561 euro per week — the enhanced subvention maximum rate is set at €461. ‘The idea behind Enhanced Subvention was to provide a resident who had no more than their pension to survive on, with a top-up to help meet the difference between the normal subvention plus their pension, and the cost of care in the nursing home’. Cllr. Kelly pointed out that the situation is likely to get worse, not better: ‘To meet the strict operating quality standards required, nursing homes have had no choice now but to increase charges. The inadequacies of the enhanced subvention have meant that some people will have to contribute a lot more to stay in care, and even use up the 20 percent of OAP rate that they should have at their disposal for their own personal needs. ‘Helping the marginalised, the less well off and the elderly should be to the forefront of our health policy and I intend working hard to make this a reality,’ added Kelly.