Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (728)

Stephen Donnelly


728. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the number of patients aged 75 years of age or over who experienced an emergency department wait time of more than 24 hours during October 2019; the total number to date in 2019; and the hospitals in which the wait occurred. [45516/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The hospital system is currently operating at close to full capacity. The number of patients attending Emergency Departments continues to increase year on year, with approximately 1.3 million attendances in 2018, up 3.5% on 2017.

For the first nine months of 2019, the number of patients over the age of 75 attending hospital EDs increased by 2.9% compared to the same period last year. This reflects increasing demand for unscheduled care, especially by patients in the 75 years and over age group.

However, the National Service Plan 2019 includes an expected activity target that 99% of patients aged 75 and over attending at an Emergency Department are discharged or admitted within 24 hours and any breach of this target in respect of patients in this age cohort is unacceptable.

With regard to the Deputy's specific question, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly with the requested information.