Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (325)

John Brassil

Question:

325. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the steps he will take to address the shortfall of appropriate step-down care for persons being discharged from acute hospitals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51619/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Transitional Care Beds provide step-down care for people who have completed the acute phase of their treatment. Together with Home Supports, respite services and rehab services they allow people to continue to live in their own homes and communities. It is important that these services are provided in an integrated way.

The Government has committed significant resources to assist health services across the winter period as detailed in the HSE’s Winter Plan 2018-2019 which was published last week. While acknowledging the challenges of the winter period, the plan represents a system wide response across the health service. €10m additional funding has been released to the HSE to put in place a range of measures before the end of the year.

Support for community operations over the winter period includes the provision of an additional 550 home support packages, investment in aids and appliances and additional Transitional Care Beds which provide step-down care for people who have completed the acute phase of their treatment.

In terms of additional capacity, the plan envisages further provision of up to 70 Community and Rehab beds coming on stream on a phased basis. The plan includes a four-week period of focused action from 17 December until 13 January. During this period 9 key hospital sites and their associated Community Healthcare Organisations will be targeted with a suite of enhanced actions.