Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Niamh Smyth , says that the number of delayed discharges in hospitals has surged over the summer months rising from 599 in June to 672 in July and to 734 at the end of August.
A patient is categorised as a delayed discharge when they no longer require care in an acute hospital setting but have no access to an appropriate step-down care facility.
Commenting Deputy Smyth said, “I have no doubt that the crisis in both the Fair Deal and the provision of Home Help is having a major role in this. It has always been clear to me that the restrictions on home care for older people would put further pressure on acute hospital services as the restrictions will exacerbate the problem of delayed discharges.
“It is no coincidence that the INMO have just recorded the worst ever July and August for overcrowding in our hospitals.
“Delayed discharges have a very significant impact on the number of people left lying on trolleys in our Emergency Departments. If beds are occupied by patients who should in fact be cared for in another facility, it’s impossible for ED staff who are already working.
“Older people want to be in their own homes with the correct wrap around supports, and not languishing in a hospital bed simply because the correct step down facilities are not available, while hospitals and medical staff throughout the country struggle with continuous overcrowding and patients lying on trolleys, some in excess of 24 hours,” she concluded.