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 EDs increased by 3.3%, and the number of ED admissions increased by 2.3% compared to the same period last year.
Provisional TrolleyGAR figures show 9,138 people were counted on trolleys in August, 5% higher than last month (8,671) and 31% higher than August 2018 (6,997). Provisional trolley numbers for the year-to-date from January to August were 71,551, a 3% increase compared to 69,465 for the same period last year.
The HSE has advised that hospitals are reporting very high levels of demand, high patient acuity, and high bed occupancy, especially in the over 75-year old cohort of patients. In addition, delayed discharges are above the expected activity threshold set out in the National Service Plan. Hospitals and Community Health Organisations are reporting constrained options for supported discharges, particularly in relation to home support and long-term care.
The Department is engaging extensively with the HSE to identify mitigating actions to bring down trolley numbers and waiting times in the ED.
With regard to the Deputy's specific question, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly with the requested information.