Waterford TD blasts lost beds due to delayed discharges at country's hospitals
Waterford TD Mary Butler has fumed over recent HSE figures obtained by Fianna Fáil, which reveal that 206,606 bed days were lost in Irish hospitals as a direct consequence of delayed discharges over the course of 2018.
A patient is categorised as a delayed discharge when they no longer require care in an acute hospital setting but have no access to an appropriate step-down care facility.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Older People, Mary Butler TD believes that during a time when "so many vulnerable people need to be admitted to hospital, such a rate of lost beds exposes the inadequacy of our health system."
The Waterford TD said: “Delayed discharges have a very significant impact on the number of people left lying on trolleys in our Emergency Departments. If beds are occupied by patients who should, in fact, be being cared for in another facility, it’s impossible for ED staff who are already working desperately hard to have the ability to respond to surges in demand."
“Some 14,000 over 75s were forced to endure a lengthy wait of more than 24 hours in hospital Emergency Department’s around the county last year. Without a doubt, delayed discharges contributed to those waiting times. We need to step up the availability of step down beds," Butler added.
“The Health Service Capacity Review which was published a year ago specifies that 13,000 additional residential care beds are required by 2030 – that translates to 1,000 extra beds a year. Yet the Government only pledge 4,000 in the National Development Plan.
“It’s a similarly poor vision offered to transform home care. The same Health Service Capacity Review projected that demand for home care is set to increase by 120% by 2030. Eleven years out from achieving this outcome and the increases proposed over the next 10 months will account for a paltry 1% increase in the HSE Service Plan."
“If we didn’t already know, the Minister is hoping the general public will turn a blind eye and fall for his promises,” concluded Deputy Butler.
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