Up to €170million being spent on providing Hospital Beds to Clinically Discharged Patients. - Tóibín
Speaking during a Dáil debate on Home Care today Aontú Leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín stated;
“This year Aontú researched the number of medically discharged patients who should be discharged from hospitals but are being forced to stay in hospital because of a lack of suitable step-down supports. The information that Aontú found out was incredible and shows a health service that is dysfunctioning at great cost to patients and to the state. We found out that on a given day there were as many as 536 patients in this state who no longer needed to be in hospital but were still occupying a bed because of a lack of home care and other step down supports. This is shockingly damaging for the hundreds of patients directly affected but it was incredibly damaging for the sick patients who cannot not access a hospital bed when they needed it”.
“The HSE advised in 2019, that the average daily running cost of an in-patient hospital bed across acute hospitals is €878 per night. If there are 536 people in hospital beds that don’t needed to be that means its costing the state €470,608 or €½ million a night to provide beds for those who don’t need them. If these figures are repeated over each night of the year and we have no reason to suspect that they ae not, there is as much as €171m being spent in providing beds for clinically discharged beds”.
“That’s phenomenal Minister. Even for the HSE which often provides a master classes in dysfunction, that €171m would be spent on hospital beds for people who don’t need them. Imagine how far that €171m would go in terms of Home Care and other step down facilities where it would actually have a beneficial outcome for patients”.
“Seventeen of the patients I investigated were in hospital despite being clinically discharged, for between 6 and 12 months. Ten of the patients Aontú learned of were clinically discharged more than a year and one for 18 months to two years. The human cost of this is unquantifiable. The monetary cost is €640,000 for one person to provide a bed that they did not need. This has been going on for years and as far as I know no one has ever been held to account for the problem. Minister for the sake of the patients who awake every morning trapped in a hospital will you provide the necessary funding to ensure that step down facilities and treatment pathways are provided in a timely manner”.