HSE Performance Report shows increased activity & some improvements while major challenges persist
Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said the latest HSE Performance Report shows increased activity and some improvements although challenges remain.
Scheduled inpatient admissions and outpatient attendances were ahead of target in July which means that 826 more patients have had an operation or procedure and 52,795 more were seen in clinics than were planned for at the start of the year.
This is an increase of 379 scheduled or elective admissions and 38,329 outpatient attendances compared to the same period last year. It shows that additional staff and resources are resulting in more patients being seen and having their health needs met to date this year.
Delayed discharges at 557 at the end of July were also at their lowest point for many years. This means that 250 beds were freed up every day for the acutely unwell, and also that more elderly or frail patients have been placed in facilities that are better positioned to cater for their particular health and personal care needs.
In the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, the total waiting list is down around 16% since April 2015 and since June the numbers waiting at every time band have decreased. For example, there were 459 waiting more than 12 months at the end of April. That is down to 300 at the end of July.
There are also some improvements in terms of patient experience times which continued to improve slightly in June and July. The proportion of those attending Emergency Departments who were discharged or admitted in under nine hours was over 83%, better than this time last year. Although this is still not satisfactory, the trend is improving.
All of the screening programmes are ahead of target with the exception of the Cervical Check screening programme, which is slightly below target to end September. The BreastCheck screening programme is ahead of target with 2,478 more women availing of the screening so far this year than originally provided for at the start of the year, an indication of the success of the TV, radio and print media campaign. Almost 100% of specialist palliative care inpatient beds were provided within seven days of referral.
In primary care, at the end of July, 175,483 under-6 GP visit cards and 33,046 over-70s GP visit cards had been issued and as of 23 September, 2,233 (over 93%) of existing GMS contract holders have signed up to the under-6 service. The over-70 service is being facilitated under the existing GP visit card contract.
However, the July report does highlight long waiting times which continue to be of concern for scheduled or elective procedures.
In order to continue making progress, especially towards the 15 month maximum waiting time at the end of 2015, the HSE launched a new initiative to ensure that hospitals comply with the new maximums and address any outstanding long waiters for inpatient and outpatient procedures. Hospitals which have breached the 18 month maximum waiting time in August are now facing fines this month.
At the same time, a total of €51 million in additional funding has also been made available to hospitals to enable them to reach the 15 month maximum waiting time, either in-house, or through out-sourcing if necessary.
Download a copy of the HSE Performance Reports here.