Saturday 23 March 2019

Patients with brain injuries face two-year wait for rehabilitation access

National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in Dún Laoghaire
National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in Dún Laoghaire
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

People with an acquired brain injury can face up to two years wait for access to the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in Dún Laoghaire.

According to figures obtained by RTÉ News an estimated 30,000 people in Ireland are currently living with a brain injury.

Health Service Executive figures show there are 13 people with acquired brain injuries who have been waiting between one and two years for admission to the NRH.

Another 22 people have been waiting between six months and a year.

In a statement, the HSE confirmed to RTÉ that there are just three beds available in the hospital for patients with complex or severe brain injuries.

Donnacha Whelan, spokesperson for Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that rising waiting lists and a shortage of beds in the NRH are having a major impact.

“You may get a place in the National Rehabilitation Hospital if you’re very lucky. You get 90 days of a stay there, that’s all you get then they’re discharged home. Teams don’t have the staff or waiting lists are so long that they’re not able to access it.”

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