Tuesday, 31 May 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
174. Ms O’Donnell asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the steps being taken to improve hospitals, management and processes in order to tackle accident and emergency overcrowding. [18237/05]
Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children (Ms Harney): Additional revenue funding of €70 million and additional capital funding of €10 million has been provided to support the actions identified to improve the delivery of accident and emergency services. The Health Service Executive has been charged with responsibility to implement the actions identified in the ten point plan for accident and emergency services. My Department has also requested the HSE to develop complementary initiatives in regard to management, work practices and processes in hospitals.
To assist those hospitals who are experiencing continuing pressures on their emergency services, the National Hospitals Office has sought tenders from companies who are expert in the area of work flow management to carry out a review to determine what internal actions can be achieved to improve patient flows and reduce overcrowding.
The closing date for the tenders was 27 May. I understand the National Hospitals Office intends that this work will commence over the summer months in regard to ten major hospitals separately. The results of the analysis will begin to be available from August and I expect that hospitals will immediately take the actions necessary to improve patients’ experience. The experience of the NHS in the United Kingdom is that this type of hospital-by-hospital improvement made a significant contribution to reduced patients’ waiting times in accident and emergency departments.
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