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Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris)

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Snippet Contents:

On 9 September the HSE launched the ‘Winter Initiative Plan 2016-2017’ which provided €40 million of additional funding for winter preparedness. This Initiative was developed to manage the expected winter surge in demand for hospital care in an integrated way across Primary, Acute and Social Care.
A range of practical measures to address ED overcrowding were implemented as part of this initiative which delivered; 90 newly-opened additional beds in the Mercy Hospital Cork, University Hospital Galway, the Mater, Beaumont and Mullingar Hospital; and a reduction in delayed discharges nationally from a high of 659 earlier in 2016 to 565 as of the 14 March, freeing up hospitals beds to alleviate ED pressures. Aids and appliances to over 4,450 patients, as well as around 1,000 additional homecare packages and 615 additional transitional care beds approvals were also provided, all enabling patients to be discharged from hospital sooner.
In additional HSE data, as of 14 March, indicates that approximately 3.5% less patients were waiting on trolleys in the system as compared to the same day last year.
While all hospitals have experienced ED pressures this winter and increased demand for ED services, Sligo University Hospital has been performing better than the national average in terms of patient experience times and trolley numbers, with performance being monitored on a daily basis by the HSE’s Special Delivery Unit.
In line with the commitment made in the Programme for a Partnership Government, a Bed Capacity Review is underway. The review will be comprehensive and will examine capacity requirements in primary and social care in addition to acute hospitals. It is also intended that private hospitals will come within the scope of the review.