Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has called out the HSE and the Minister for Health for their failure to tackle delayed discharges at Tallaght University Hospital, which is a huge factor in causing overcrowding at the hospital.

The Sinn Féin TD spoke out after figures released to Sinn Féin through a parliamentary question show that 11,319 bed days were lost at Tallaght hospital between January and November 2019.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Delayed discharge patients are clinically fit for discharge from hospital, but because of a lack of home help or a step down nursing home bed they can’t be discharged – this increasingly common practice constitutes one biggest financial waste in the health service and has cost the health service nearly €600 million since 2016.

“Hundreds of millions are being wasted by the short sighted policy of keeping these patients in acute hospital beds.

“Delayed discharges are a huge factor in the trolley crisis and it keeps sick patients from getting a hospital bed that they badly need.

“It is also incredibly unfair on the patients stuck in hospital who are ready to be discharged but need additional supports for independent living.

“From January to November last year 11,319 bed days have been lost in Tallaght hospital due to delayed discharges.

“These patients should be given the home help supports they need so they can be discharged, or given a space in a step down facility or a nursing home. That way these high demand and highly sought hospital beds can be used to reduce waiting  lists and get more patients into Tallaght hospital and off trolleys.”