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Interim plan required for urgent and emergency care

By Paul Mulholland - 11th Sep 2023

urgent and emergency care

Key performance indicators (KPIs) for urgent and emergency care (UEC) “remain below” those set in the HSE National Service Plan 2023, according to a new document.

The HSE Urgent and Emergency Care Operational Plan 2023 was published in July. The document stated that “an immediate focus” was required on improving KPIs.

There was variation in KPI performance between sites with some operating well “despite similar challenges”.

Notwithstanding the KPIs set in the service plan, the document outlined the following UEC targets: No patient is to wait for more than 24 hours in an emergency department (ED); the total numbers of weekly delayed transfers of care are not to exceed 440; the average monthly trolley count at 8am is not to exceed 320; and the average length of stay for those over 14 days is not to exceed 28 days.

The document noted that EDs continued to experience high levels of demand this year. “These sustained and record UEC pressures are being experienced beyond the winter period where pressures are typically associated with surges in respiratory illness,” it stated.

“The pressures now being experienced are the result of historical and newly emerging challenges including a growing and ageing population, chronic disease, bed capacity, acute hospital structural issues, scheduled care demands, staff capacity and the need for the integration of acute and community services.”

In order to respond to challenges in the area, a new three-year UEC plan was to be adopted. “In the interim, the HSE recognises the need to plan to support UEC delivery and performance for the remainder of 2023 given the high UEC demand and pressures experienced,” according to the document.

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