Plan to restore non-Covid-19 clinical services advances

Framework setting out national clinical priorities to be finalised over the next week

A framework for the restoration of non-Covid-19 clinical services, setting out national clinical priorities to be implemented locally, is to be finalised over the next week and is to be phased and clinically prioritised.

“It is to be adjusted as we progress over coming weeks and months,” Chief Executive Paul Reid said this morning (May 28) at the weekly Health Service Executive (HSE) update.

Stressing the level of care needed to restore non-Covid-19 clinical services, he maintained some of the services would be less efficient than the way they were currently carried out, due to the need to protect the public.

Increasing occupancy in general hospital beds would have to be monitored very carefully in coming weeks as the services cope with Covid-19, and revert and restore some of the non-Covid-19 services.

They had to protect against any further surge, and bed occupancy had gone beyond World Health Organization guidance and was close to maximum occupancy levels.

The framework was to utilise available resources and expertise, also developing and building on new ways of working, some of which had been put in place during the pandemic.

Key elements were to look how to enable acute hospital systems, community services, social care services, national cancer services and national screening services.

Not intended as a major plan, he said it was a process which had been started already, some of which was to progress over the coming weeks and months.

This morning saw 48 Covid-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU), plus 12 suspected Covid-19 cases down 70 per cent at the peak on April 9, this was out of a total of 270 people in ICU, according to the HSE.

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