Hospitals and delayed discharges

 

Sir, – One number I would like to receive from the HSE is the number of delayed discharges in public hospitals at present.

These are generally older people medically fit for discharge from hospital but who have not been approved for homecare or nursing home supports and therefore languish in hospital beds.

Every day the public is bombarded with the Covid-19 hospital number, currently around 700 out of 15,500 acute hospital beds. In November 2019, the HSE reported that there were 682 delayed discharge patients, with 20,868 hospital bed days lost.

My point is that if the HSE managed the healthcare system properly and did not retain healthy people in acute hospital beds, the population at large would not have to worry about the constant dire predictions of the system being overloaded.

A sense of perspective would be appreciated. – Yours, etc,

Dr JONATHAN ROTH,

Limerick.