€40m winter plan to tackle trolley crisis will not kick in until October
A €40m “winter initiative “ plan to tackle the trolley crisis was launched today – but it will not kick-in until late October when hospitals will already have endured weeks of escalating overcrowding.
The plan includes:
• Provision of an additional 950 Home Care Packages targeting 10 specific hospitals
• Additional 58 Transitional Care bed approvals weekly available to all acute hospitals, (in addition to the funded level of service of 109 per week).
• Expansion of Community Intervention Team (CIT) services across 4 sites to support 5 acute hospitals. (Beaumont, Mater, OLOL, GUH, STGH), to benefit 6,643 additional patients.
• An additional 55 acute beds (on top of the additional 300 beds provided in 2015 and which remain open) are being provided in the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore, Beaumont Hospital, Naas General Hospital, University Hospital Waterford and in the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar. In addition, 18 step down beds are being provided for in the Mercy University Hospital, Cork.
• Expansion of minor injury services in Dublin to provide for an additional 100 patients each week, with patients being seen in a more timely way, to include a Saturday service.
• Increased funding for aids and appliances to support discharge of patients from hospitals as well as facilitating hospital avoidance
• Targeted waiting list programme for orthopaedics, spinal and scoliosis to be implemented in designated sites by year end.
• Increased focus on Flu vaccination for the community at large and health care staff.
Health Minister Simon Harris said :”I want to ensure that the health service is better prepared to meet the challenge of the coming winter. The HSE will now proceed to implement the various actions set out in the plan. I will be closely monitoring progress to ensure that the expected improvements will be achieved, and have requested a weekly update report.’