Drogheda – Louth/Meath Hospital Group update

Louth Meath Hospital Group
The Louth Meath Hospital Group as with all other hospitals, must
comply with its statutory obligations and remain within its allocated
budget. Every effort will continue to be made to do that in a way that
has the least impact on patients and clients.

The projected Louth Meath Hospital Group expenditure for 2012 on
Agency and Overtime (excluding junior doctor medical overtime) is in
the region of €16.7m and with a deficit heading for in excess of €20m,
this unfunded agency / overtime must all be eliminated before year
end, so that Louth Meath Hospital Group can start 2013 at a monthly
expenditure level which is at least close to its 2012 budget.

In early August, the RDO instructed the Louth Meath Hospital Group to
implement a number of measures to eliminate spending in relation to
overtime and the phased reduction of agency costs which are unfunded.

Cost containment initiatives that must be implemented include the
elimination of spending in relation to overtime and the phased
reduction of agency costs which are unfunded.

The following measures are currently being implemented:-

▪ 33 transitional care beds are being commissioned from private and
public providers. Clinically discharged patients in Louth County
Hospital (LCH) will be transferred to these beds and the ward will
commence closure from beginning of September. The average six to
eight surgical patients in LCH will be accommodated in the stroke
ward. Currently, ten patients are awaiting transfer to transitional
care beds;

▪ The use of three escalation beds in the medical wards in Our Lady’s
Hospital Navan (OLHN) has discontinued since 1st September. These
beds were unfunded within the hospitals budget. On average, there are
ten clinically discharged patients in OLHN. The commissioning of the
33 transitional care beds will avoid the need to use the escalation
beds;

▪ Other than in very exceptional circumstances, the Day Ward in OLOL
is only being used for day cases as is its intended purpose.
Accordingly, it is closed at night and at weekends and will operate
within its funded level;

▪ The elective theatre in OLHN will open on alternate weeks as the
number of cases completed to date is ahead of service plan targets;
▪ A facility for minor ops will be provided in the day ward and OLHN
and gynaecology lists will continue on Friday;

▪ Christmas Orthopaedic Theatre closures will be extended. is will
facilitate planned floor and washer replacement work;

▪ Since 1st September, a rolling closure of one theatre in Our Lady of
Lourdes Hospital (OLOL) is in place from beginning of September for a
period of five to six weeks to facilitate certification of the air
handing system. This temporary reduction in theatre capacity will
reduce our demand for critical care beds. Accordingly, there will be
a be a closure of one critical care bed/high dependency bed;

▪ Other than in very exceptional circumstances, the Acute Medical
Assessment Unit has reverted to the hours of operation that were
originally funded, i.e. 16 hours a day, seven days a week. This unit
was originally funded by the Special Delivery Unit and subsequently
one million euro was provided to maintain this service along with the
post of a Microbiologist;

▪ Since 1st September, 16 Beds on the 6th Floor in OLOL have closed
temporarily. The remaining beds have amalgamated into a one ward
structure. An additional eight medical beds were commissioned under
the SDU/ISD funding in January. These beds remain open.

The Louth Meath Hospital Group is currently working on proposals to
achieve a 50% reduction of their agency levels in most disciplines.
These proposals have not been finalised and are subject to further
feedback, consultation and amendment.