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Accident and Emergency Departments

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Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar)

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Snippet Contents:

In November 2015, in conjunction with the HSE Director General, I issued a National Emergency Department Escalation Framework to hospitals, on how best to manage hospital capacity and patient flow through the hospital at times when there is a surge in demand for emergency care.
At times of surge, when there is significant demand for emergency care, the Escalation Framework envisages that hospitals consider cancelling non-urgent elective procedures.
At Levels 1 and 2 of escalation, the cancellation of elective procedures is undertaken at the discretion of the hospital management, in consultation with the relevant consultant. However once level 3 escalation measures are put in place, available elective medical and nursing staff are redeployed to treat admissions through ED wherever possible, with potential knock-on effects on the staffing of elective wards. It is a matter for each hospital to manage its bed capacity, having regard for the needs of patients and appropriate infection control measures.
As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow the matter up.