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Almost 4,000 bed days monthly in delayed discharges — RCSI Hospitals

A monthly average of 3,778 bed days at RCSI Hospitals Group were “inappropriately used” last year for patients whose acute care was completed and who were waiting for community home placements or home care packages, according to the Group’s operational plan for 2019.

Annually, this was the equivalent of necessary acute bed capacity for the treatment of 8,017 elective inpatients (average length of stay of seven days). According to the Group, access to this bed capacity would have enabled treatment of 86 per cent of patients currently waiting for admission within the Hospital Group.

It said a standardised process was in place in all acute hospitals for managing delayed discharge protocols. “Each hospital continues to work with local community forums to make most efficient use of available resources, achieving the best solution and support for each individual patient and family.”

All hospitals in the Group are operating at over 98 per cent occupancy, with RCSI Hospitals intending to increase access to beds by reducing length of stay and increasing the number of acute beds.

The plan also stated that, last year, 13.8 per cent of outpatient department bookings did not attend the designated appointment (n = 21,587).

RCSI Hospitals intends to reduce ‘did not attend’ rates by “validation exercises”, “partial booking processes”, “chronological scheduling”, and adherence to National Treatment Purchase Fund guidelines in relation to scheduling patients for surgery.

The plan also referred to the Group’s intention to “seek to secure identification for Beaumont Hospital as [a] Dublin Major Trauma Centre”.

On financial matters, the plan stated that the 2019 net financial allocation (excluding pensions) of €782.2 million was an increase of €6.7 million (0.8 per cent) versus the 2018 out-turn.

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