Elderly stay in hospital costs €14,000 daily

South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel
Eighteen patients in South Tipperary General Hospital are occupying beds despite the fact that their acute care has ended and they are medically fit to be discharged.

Eighteen patients in South Tipperary General Hospital are occupying beds despite the fact that their acute care has ended and they are medically fit to be discharged.

Almost 90% of these are elderly patients over 65 for whom alternative arrangements have not been put in place.

The figures were obtained by Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI) from the HSE.

HCCI said that according to the HSE figures on the cost of a hospital stay per night allowing those eighteen patients to stay in hospital was costing up to €14,000 each night the patients remained in hospital.

The latest HSE report published this month also shows that there are 685 delayed discharges around the country, costing a total of over half a million euro each night.

The main reasons for the delay include people awaiting approval for nursing home care under the Fair Deal scheme, people waiting for home help, a home care package, access to a rehabilitation facility, or equipment from the HSE.

Michael Harty, Chair of Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI), said:

“The most recent delayed discharge figures demonstrate once again the cost of the Government’s refusal to provide a sustainable, joined up approach to elder care. This inefficient system is costing the exchequer millions each year, and directly contradicts stated Government policy of helping people to remain in their homes for as long as possible.Increasing home care funding could save millions annually by enabling faster discharge, thereby freeing up valuable resources for frontline services. At the same time it would allow elderly, dependent people to live at home for longer, as well as prevent unnecessary admission in the first place,” he said.