Care of the elderly in Meath

β€œTo request the Manager to outline the current HSE policy on transitional care for elderly patients and how many Nursing Homes in Meath are registered for transitional care at present?”

Cllr. Nick Killian


Government policy is to support older people to live with dignity and independence in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. This is achieved through a range of community based services such as mainstream Home Help, Meals-on-Wheels, and Respite or Day Care. In more complex cases, enhanced Home Care Packages (HCPs) may be provided. Where it is not possible to maintain a person at home, the policy is to support access to quality long-term residential care. Often, the point of referral to long term care is when a person is in an acute hospital setting. It is accepted that, once a frail older person’s acute hospital care episode is completed that it is not appropriate to continue to care for them in an acute setting. To this end, the Minister for Health has supported the initiative to develop a transitional care pathway which will enable a frail older person to be cared for in a non-acute facility while waiting for:

Community support (HCP) to enable them to return to their own home.
Final processing of their NHSS application and release of funding for long term care.

Transitional Care beds are defined as HIQA approved beds that are funded from the transitional care component of the frail elderly project funding funded through the Special Delivery Unit.

The person being admitted to transitional care will be medically discharged from an acute hospital setting.

In order to be suitable for Transitional Care the following criteria must be met:

The older person has been deemed medically fit for transfer by the treating consultant within 24 hours of the proposed transfer from the acute Hospital.
The older person is deemed to require long term care. (Completion of Fair Deal Process) or
The older person is awaiting a supported discharge with a Home Care Package.
The older person is awaiting the delivery or installation of Aids and/or appliances within their own home.

20 Transitional Care Beds are funded. 16 of these will be in the Cottage Hospital and 4 will be Spot purchased. There are no beds in Meath but Meath Patients get access to the beds in the Cottage Hospital as assessed.

Dermot Monaghan,

Area Manager – Louth Meath

HSE Dublin North East.