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Saturday 18 November 2017

Cancer surgeries held up by lack of beds

A LACK of beds in the country's biggest hospital, due to the failure to move patients to nursing homes, forced the cancellation of planned operations for prostate cancer, it emerged yesterday.

Seven of the 40 patients booked for prostate cancer surgery in St James's Hospital, Dublin, had their procedures cancelled in the six weeks to July 11.

The problem was due to a lack of beds, which were occupied by patients who no longer needed to be in hospital, but could not leave because the Fair Deal scheme for nursing home support was held up. A hospital spokesman said yesterday that of the seven cancelled surgeries, only one procedure remained outstanding.

The Fair Deal scheme, which provides financial support for people who need nursing home care, was stalled for several weeks because it ran into a cash crisis. It meant people whose applications had been given the green light were unable to move until additional funding for the scheme was found.

The HSE has since approved 25 patients for transfer to nursing homes since the beginning of July.

Irish Independent

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