700+ beds available in nursing homes during A & E crisis

 

Nursing Homes Ireland today, 5thJanuary, released a survey showing over 700 beds are available within almost 200 Member nursing homes across the country. The information was derived from a snapshot survey undertaken by the organisation on Wednesday 4th January. The number of beds available may be much higher as there are more than 370 NHI Member nursing homes and under 180 responded within the short timeframe.

Concern has also been expressed by the organisation regarding comments by the Minister earlier this week advising older people from nursing homes with flu symptoms to refrain from attending A & E.  

Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO said: "While recognising the complexity of the situation, the nursing home sector has a key role to play in alleviating the current overcrowding and crisis within our acute hospitals. The snapshot survey undertaken informed 176 nursing homes have immediate bed availability of 742 beds. Bed availability across our Members 370+ nursing homes is likely to be double that revealed by the snapshot survey."

“Only last week, on 29th December, Minister Harris heralded 436 patients classified as delayed discharged in acute hospitals as being a new low and representing “hugely welcome progress”. While the HSE has substantially reduced numbers delayed discharged, with timely access to nursing home care playing a lead role in this regard, there must be a concerted focus upon ensuring the hundreds who continue to remain within hospitals can access beds that are available for them within their local nursing homes in an immediate timeframe.”

 

NHI has shared the survey details informing of the bed availability in Member nursing homes across Ireland with the Minister’s Office, Department of Health officials and the HSE.

 

Mr Daly added: “Nursing homes are intrinsic to alleviating pressures within our acute hospitals as acknowledged by Minister Harris on Tuesday last 3rd January 2017. However his words of support for the nursing home sector need to be followed in deed, not least in resourcing and funding the specialist care provided by our sector”.

“The comments attributed to Minister Harris earlier this week that older people within nursing homes with flu symptoms should refrain from presenting at hospitals is concerning. Older people within nursing homes are particularly frail with multiple existing co-morbidities and respiratory illness that can very quickly escalate the requirement for acute medical care. Nursing homes have a duty of care to their residents and to ensure residents are safeguarded and protected. The Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People) Regulations 2013 (as amended) also requires nursing homes to ensure residents have access to medical treatment recommended by medical practitioners and/or access to additional professional expertise where required.”

ENDS

 

See below – snapshot survey results

 

Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO, is available for further comment. For further information contact Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications and Research Executive at 01 4699806 or 087 9082970.    

 

County by County Availability – 4th January 2017 Snapshot Survey

 

COUNTY

NUMBER NHI MEMBERS

NO OF N HOMES TO RESPOND TO SURVEY

BED AVAILABILITY

4th JANUARY 2017

AVERAGE

AVAILABILITY

4TH JANUARY 2017

Carlow

5

3

10

3.3

Cavan

7

2

3

1.5

Clare

11

2

17

8.5

Cork

45

15

16

1.06

Donegal

12

7

18

2.5

Dublin

94

42

235

5.6

Galway

37

15

109

7.2

Kerry

18

7

10

1.4

Kildare

20

12

59

4.9

Kilkenny

11

4

11

2.75

Laois

4

3

26

8.6

Limerick

24

5

21

4.2

Longford

3

1

0

0

Louth

10

7

18

2.5

Mayo

15

6

19

3.1

Meath

17

6

15

2.5

Monaghan

5

3

7

2.3

Offaly

7

2

12

6

Roscommon

10

4

12

3

Sligo

5

1

0

0

Tipperary

26

6

20

3.3

Waterford

9

5

11

2.2

Westmeath

12

3

6

2

Wexford

12

6

23

3.8

Wicklow

19

9

64

7.1

 

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