This is a very busy period for our health services, with many hospitals reporting significant numbers of patient attendances. For the first seven months of 2019, the number of patients attending hospital Emergency Departments (EDs) increased by 3.3%, and the number of ED admissions increased by 2.3% compared to the same period last year.
In the first six months of 2019, our health services managed better and the numbers of patients waiting on trolleys nationally were 4.7% lower than for the same period last year despite the significant increase in demand.
Tallaght University Hospital was identified as one of the nine focus sites requiring additional investment and support during the winter period 2018/2019. This included additional home support packages, transitional care beds, and bed capacity.
An independent expert review aimed at identifying the specific factors that contributed to performance over the winter period is now under way. The group will carry out a comparative analysis of unscheduled care performance across the nine hospital sites and the relevant Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs) that were the subject of specific focused support through Winter 2018/2019. This will include TUH and CHO 7. My Department and the HSE will receive the report of the independent review group and its recommendations in due course.
In relation to the comparison between the year on year change in attendances and the number of patients on trolleys at Tallaght University Hospital, I have asked the HSE to provide a response to the Deputy directly.