The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Tom Hayes, has welcomed the publication of the Operational Plan for 2014 for South Tipperary General Hospital.
The plan was outlined to local councillors and Oireachtas members on February 25. The budget for South Tipp General Hospital for 2014 is €43.628m, a drop of €2m on 2013.
Minister Hayes welcomed the news that there will be no further loss of beds in Cashel.
The awarding of funding from the transitional scheme which is due to be announced in the next week, could mean a further 12 beds for Cashel which may go to Our Lady’s or St Patrick’s or be split between both. This will be decided by the HSE and HIQA in joint discussions between the groups should the funding be awarded.
“There is no threat to rehab and assessment units. The HSE is committed to continuing the delivery of respite services in the home as well as maintaining existing home help and the current level of short stay beds. This means that there is no threat to the future of St Patrick’s or Our Lady’s hospitals,” he said
“But nothing has been decided and we will have to wait until funding is announced,” said Deputy Hayes.
According to figures released, attendance at the Emergency Department at STGH in 2013 was 36,654, a slight increase on 2012 figures and projected attendance for 2014 is estimated at 36,500. There has been a reduction of 10 per cent on trolley waits, though there is no question that the number of people on trolleys remains a problem. An emphasis is now being placed on home-based care through community intervention teams.
There will be changes to the delivery of mental health and primary care with counselling being introduced in primary care and a new self-harm intervention programme. Some 31 additional posts in mental health were allocated in Carlow / Kilkenny / South Tipperary in 2013/14, over half of which were in South Tipperary.