Huge inroads in addressing overcrowding can be brought about through focussed engagement between hospitals and nursing homes



HSE figures confirm 60% delayed discharges await nursing home care


190,000 beds lost last year through delays in discharging back into the community


7th January 2018


With over 190,000 beds lost within our acute hospitals through delayed discharges last year1 and 60% of such patients awaiting long-term nursing care2, Nursing Homes Ireland has accentuated the critical importance of facilitating timely discharges from acute hospitals into nursing homes. Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO, said: “Last year approximately 9,160 persons, an average 763 persons per month, transitioned from acute hospitals to nursing homes3. This represented a 17% growth in numbers availing of transitional care funding support that was originally anticipated for the year.4 The stark figures emphasise the essential role fulfilled by nursing homes in facilitating discharges from acute hospitals back into the community. Increased transitional care funding provided by Government in 2017 ensured this increase. The sizeable numbers availing of the funding demonstrates a focus on transitional care provides the desired outcome for the patient and facilitates a huge volume of discharges from acute hospitals back to the community.


“We acknowledge the issues presenting to the HSE are complex and there is no ‘one-fit’ solution to the current challenges. However, there is considerable scope to further utilise nursing homes to ensure persons clinically fit for discharge are transferred back into the community in a timely manner, particularly given the capacity and large numbers of empty beds in nursing homes in communities throughout the country. The HSE projected at year-end 2017, 563 beds were subject to delayed discharges within our hospitals and 193,661 bed days were lost last year because people clinically fit for discharge remained within the hospital setting5. 60% of persons clinically fit for discharge are awaiting long-term nursing care, the HSE informs on an ongoing basis. While not all discharges can be facilitated with immediacy, concerted engagement between hospital management and local nursing homes, with the appropriate funding support being readily available, can enable us make huge inroads into addressing overcrowding within our hospitals. Close, ongoing liaison between hospital management and nursing homes must also entail dialogue with the patient to inform of the role of nursing home care in meeting their health and social care needs.”


Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO is available for further comment. Contact Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications and Research Executive at 087 9082970.


Notes for Editor

1The HSE Service Plan 2018 stated with regard to Delayed Discharges, the ‘Projected Outturn 2017’ would be 193,661 bed days lost

2The HSE Performance Plans consistently inform circa 60% of persons ‘delayed discharge’ are awaiting long-term nursing care. The December 2016 Performance Report (2017 is yet to be published) informed 71.6% of the 436 persons delayed discharged were awaiting long-term nursing care. The most recently published Performance Report, September 2017, informed 59.8% of the 564 persons awaiting discharge were awaiting long-term nursing care.

3The HSE Service Plan 2018 projected 9,160 persons were approved for transitional care funding during the year. Transitional care funding supports the discharge of patients from acute care who may require further convalescence before returning home or provides financial support for patients awaiting their application to be processed under the Nursing Home Support Scheme (Fair Deal).

4The HSE Service Plan 2017 projected 7,820 people would avail of transitional care funding during the year.

5HSE Service Plan 2018





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