No extra beds, staff being appointed as part of HSE Winter Plan

No extra beds, staff being appointed as part of HSE Winter Plan

No extra acute hospital beds are being opened as part of the HSE’s €26m winter plan to deal with hospital overcrowding.

HSE national director of acute operations, Liam Woods, confirmed that no extra acute beds were being opened and no extra staff were being appointed as part of the plan.

Last year the provision of 75 extra acute beds were part of the winter package but the HSE is now focusing on moving people from acute hospitals to more appropriate care to free up beds.

The health authority’s chief operations officer, Anne O’Connor, said last year the focus was on nine key hospital sites but this year each of the nine community health organisation had a winter action team.

“So we are coming at this from a primary care and community perspective,” she said.

Ms O’Connor said ED attendances were up by just under 3% but that only translated into 1% of admissions.

They already had €5m of the €26m approved at the end of September and had started working on that.

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