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Tallaght still on critical list in health crisis

The HSE has been forced to keep Tallaght hospital under "weekly" monitor as the deepening financial crisis threatens the provision of services.

The hospital is being given an €11m bailout to keep going until the end of December but will have to repay this money.

The demand for hospital services across the country is creating the biggest pressure on HSE budgets which face a €300m deficit by year end.

Four hospitals in particular are in serious financial difficulty. They are Tallaght, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and University Hospitals in Limerick and Galway.

The HSE says it is working with the Tallaght hospital on a week-to-week basis to make sure services can be maintained.

The report shows that emergency hospital admissions are running at over 31,000 a month, 500 more than last year.

Patients presenting at emergency departments are "more acutely ill with an increasing elderly cohort who require admission", says the latest performance report.

Inpatient and day cases are already 15,000 over target and GP out of hours contacts are up by an extra 8.5pc running at an average of 1,500 extra contacts a week.

The average patient waiting to be admitted in emergency departments was 10 and a half hours during September which is up from the previous month.

Full capacity was reached twice by Beaumont Hospital during the month and once in four other hospitals.

Emergency patients are more acutely ill and require admission at a rate almost 2pc higher. These departments have 36 vacant Registrar posts and nine locum registrars.

There are 800 elderly people waiting for places under the nursing home support scheme.

Altogether 651 entrants were accepted into the scheme in September and a further 360 were approved in the three weeks of October.

Community services are running almost €35m over budget and the cost of agency doctors is increasing by 39pc a month. The cost of agency nurses, however, has been cut by 7pc.

The report says the health system will have to intensely manage cost to achieve a balanced budget" by the end of the year.

csheehy@herald.ie


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