219 Altnagelvin patients had home help delays

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Over five hundred patients in the Western Trust had their release from hospital delayed due to difficulties securing domiciliary packages over the past four years, according to the Health Minister Michelle O’Neill.

Over two hundred of these patients were being treated in hosptial in Altnagelvin.

Last year there were 180 delayed discharges across the whole Western Trust area: fifty eight of these at Altnagelvin in Derry.

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill revealed the number of patients whose “discharge from hospital was delayed as they were awaiting a domiciliary care package” in response to a recent Assembly Question.

Between 2012/13 and 2015/16 there were five hundred and sixty-six delayed discharges across the Trust: 219 at Altnagelvin; 249 at the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen; and 98 at Tyrone County.

The number of delayed discharges from Altnagelvin fell over the four year period: from 64 in 2012/13; to 51 in 2013/14; to 46 in 2014/15; and back up slightly to 58 last year.

The figures rose across the Western Trust as a whole, however: from 118 in 2012/13; to 128 in 2013/14; to 140 in 2014/15; and to 180 in 2015/16.

“My Department is currently undertaking a regional review of the domiciliary care workforce to ensure the availability of a domiciliary care workforce to meet future service demands,” the Minister stated, after outlining the figures.