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Accident and Emergency Departments Waiting Times

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Accident and Emergency Departments Waiting Times

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Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris)

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Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris)

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Snippet Contents:

Since the beginning of July, the HSE has reported trolley numbers above those noted for the equivalent period last year. I have been advised by the HSE that recent increases can be partially attributed to summer leave, the medical rotation changeover, which occurs in early July each year, seasonal increases in elective procedures and an increased number of delayed discharges. Many hospitals have also reported a sustained increase in attendances for this time of year.
It is expected that seasonal pressures on EDs will naturally recede by September. The pressure on EDs caused by delayed discharges should also reduce shortly, given additional funding of €500m from the Supplementary estimates and Winter Initiative, which was recently passed in the Dail and will be provided to the HSE shortly. The HSE has advised that efforts to expand home help and home care packages should result in additional capacity within a month, while will assist hospitals in the timely discharge of patients.
I also met with the Director General of the HSE on Friday 15 July to express my concerns to the HSE about the recent rise in numbers of patients on trolleys and possible future measures to address trolley numbers. Actions discussed include the expansion of frail elderly pathways, expansion of community diagnostics and day hospital capacity, maintenance of SDU oversight of performance and improved management of capacity in response to surges in demand.
The HSE is concentrating on applying the funding available for infrastructure development in the most effective way possible to meet current and future needs. Investment in the hospital infrastructure at the Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar is ongoing. Construction has been completed on the project to refurbish the Emergency Department. There are also capital funded minor projects recently completed and underway.
MRH Mullingar is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group. Each Hospital Group will be required to develop a strategic plan to describe how it will provide more efficient and effective patient services and reorganise its services to provide optimal care to the populations it serves. Any future current or capital investment at the Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar will be considered within the context of future service developments and associated investment in the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group.