PATIENTS and their families are being urged to support timely discharge from hospitals as our health service continues to deal with severe bed pressures due to the escalating demands of Covid-19.
Our Health and Care Services remain under serious pressure. Our hospitals are working beyond capacity at present with many very ill patients waiting for hospital beds. The essential co-operation of patients, and their families and carers on discharge, will help free up beds during this extremely challenging time.
To help us free up essential beds, required for very sick patients, Health and Social Care (HSC) is sending out an urgent appeal to patients and families:
- If patients are deemed medically fit by the consultant/senior doctor to go home, they and their families should ensure there are arrangements in place to be picked up promptly on the day of discharge. Medical and nursing teams can help you make these arrangements.
- If patients are deemed medically fit by the consultant/senior doctor to go home and are waiting on a care home placement, HSC Trust staff will allocate the first place that is suitable for you. This may not necessarily be your first choice but it is important to note that HSC Trusts will work closely with you to move your family member to your first choice at a later date.
- If you are deemed medically fit by the consultant/senior doctor to go home, and there is a delay in sourcing new or additional home care (domiciliary care), you may be discharged and these elements of your care package will be organised when you get home. Additional family support may be required until the home care package is finalised.
Encouraging families and carers to help with timely discharges, Brendan Whittle, Director of Social Care and Children with the Health and Social Care Board said:
“Everyone is aware, from ongoing daily media reports, that Health and Social Care across the region is again currently under huge strain due to current Covid-19 surge. We are in very challenging times so we are asking you to help us so we can help others who are very ill and need a hospital bed. We continue to need your support.
“Our staff are continuing to work hard to ensure that patients receive the treatment and care that they need. To help them, we are asking that patients do not remain in hospital any longer than necessary. We also need families to provide transport to transfer loved ones from the hospital in a timely manner when required.”