The Health Service Capacity Review published last year indicated that there was a need for a major investment in additional capacity in both hospital and community beds, combined with reform of the manner and the location of where health services are provided.
As set out in Sláintecare, moving care options for patients closer to their homes and into their local communities is a key part of the solution. In addition, there is a need to further develop community services to meet the increasing demand, which is placing additional pressure on hospital services.
The Capacity Programme for 2019 provides for the following increases in capacity, as set out in the National Service Plan 2019:
- The provision of 75 acute beds and 70 community beds under the Winter Plan 2018/19;
- preparation of 202 beds, of which 16 are critical care, during 2019, with a view to bringing this extra capacity into operation in Q1 of 2020;
The National Service Plan for 2020 is currently under consideration by the Department.
I will be happy to update the Deputy further in due course.