“Every one of these figures represents a patient who is needlessly occupying a hospital bed when they would be much better off being cared for in a nursing home, stepdown facility or in their own home with appropriate home care supports.”

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD today called on the Minister for Health to urgently address the scandalous lack of home care services after new HSE figures show there are 585 patients stuck in hospital beds due to delayed discharges.

The figures supplied to Deputy Shortall in response to a parliamentary question show that three Dublin hospitals – St James’s, Beaumont and the Mater – currently have the highest numbers of delayed discharges among all 36 voluntary and public hospitals. [36 hospitals on table – but don’t know if that’s definitive list of all hospitals]

Deputy Shortall said:

“These figures show that our major acute hospitals have the highest numbers of delayed discharges, with 69 in St James’s in Dublin, 45 in Beaumont, 44 in the Mater, 39 in Our Lady of Lourdes and 27 in Tallaght.

“Every one of these figures represents a patient who is needlessly occupying a hospital bed when they would be much better off being cared for in a nursing home, stepdown facility or in their own home with appropriate home care supports.

“The scandalous lack of home care supports is now a permanent feature of our broken health system. It causes huge distress to patients and their families and is nothing short of callous. Consigning people to longer than necessary stays in hospital is also the most expensive way for our health service to operate.

“It leads to poorer health outcomes for people in need of hospital care because of increased waiting lists for elective procedures including surgery. Yet there is absolutely no urgency on the behalf of the Minister for Health to drive through the institutional and systems reforms needed to make our hospitals function more efficiently and effectively with better health outcomes for all.”

ENDS

25th June 2019

PQ/19/24781 Delayed Discharges by Hospital 11th June 2019.