There are “no signals of a sustained improvement” in the number of delayed discharges in the Irish health service since 2015, a document provided to the HSE Directorate has stated.
The directorate quality profile for May was presented to the Directorate meeting for that month and has been obtained by the Medical Independent through Freedom of Information law.
According to the document, the average number of delayed discharges was above the expected level and was “unstable”.
While the average weekly number of delayed discharges over 12 months was 593, it had been estimated the number would not exceed 550.
The report noted there was an improvement in December 2018 and January 2019, but the latest data showed the situation had worsened since February.
“The latest data since February 2019 shows a series of 16 consecutive weeks above the mean. This is unlikely to have occurred by chance alone.”
Between 2010 and 2014, the average number of delayed discharges was 690. However, the number of delayed discharges reduced to 585 between 2015 and to-date in 2019.
“While there have been some signals of improvement in the number of delayed discharges since 2015 (usually during December each year), there are no signals of a sustained improvement in the number of delayed discharges since 2015,” outlined the report.
Recent figures provided to Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly revealed delayed discharges had cost the health service almost €600 million since 2016.