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Minutes of the board of the Saolta University Health Care Group for July 2016 stated that an analysis was taking place to examine the reasons why some patients attended the ED more frequently than others.
“This was [an] analysis of a small sample of frequent attendees at the UHG ED examining why and when they came in,” a spokesperson for Saolta told the Medical Independent (MI).
“There were a lot of out-of-hours attendances and all but two were psychiatric patients: The list was provided to the CHO [Community Healthcare Organisation], which has responsibility for psychiatric services to review care plans for these patients. We have just repeated this exercise and are in the process of comparing lists and will discuss with CHO again.”
During the July meeting, the board also discussed the importance of opening the new 75-bed ward block for the hospital, which would help relieve capacity pressures.
The board noted that no funding for this additional capacity was available, but a proposal had been submitted as part of the 2017 HSE National Service Plan.
Saolta’s spokesperson told MI that one ward of the 75-bed block is now open and the remaining beds will be opened on a phased basis.
Minister for Health Simon Harris has sanctioned funding for the design phase for a new ED at UHG.
It has been reported that funding for the ED’s construction will be prioritised as part of the mid-term review of the Capital Plan, which will take place during the summer.