Donegal senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has expressed "serious alarm" that Donegal does not have a Community Intervention Team.
Sinn Féin's MacLochlainn claimed today that an "official HSE report confirms" this.
His spokesman said: "Community Intervention Teams are the initiative that is central to the HSE's stated objectives of freeing up hospital beds, and facilitating the early discharge of patients to their home, as well as preventing re-admissions to hospital, by implementing nursing care in the home, out of hours.
"There are currently 15 Community Intervention Teams working across the State."
Senator Mac Lochlainn said: "I have discovered that almost eight years after this key initiative was rolled out across the state, Donegal still does not have any Community Intervention Teams.
"This is truly shocking when we look at the growing numbers of Donegal people on trolleys and the beds crisis at Letterkenny University Hospital.
"Last year, almost 5,000 Donegal people were on trolleys at Letterkenny Hospital, the highest numbers since records began."
He added: "According to the HSE, a Community Intervention Team (CIT) is a specialist, nurse-led health professional team which provides a rapid and integrated response to a patient with an acute episode of illness and who requires enhanced services/acute intervention for a defined short period of time.
"This may be provided at home, in a residential setting or in the community as deemed appropriate, thereby avoiding acute hospital attendance or admission, or facilitating early discharge.
"The HSE further states that the CIT, through its fast-tracked provision of services enhances the overall primary care system, providing access to nursing and home care support, usually from 8am to 10pm, seven days per week. Referrals are accepted from hospitals, GPs and other community sources."
Sinn Fein senator Padraig MacLochlainn.
Sinn Fein states that the services include:
- Administration of IV antibiotics
- Wound dressings
- Acute anticoagulation management
- Urinary related care
- Ostomy Care
- Medication Management
- Enhanced Nurse Monitoring;
- Care of patients with respiratory illness"
Senator Mac Lochlainn added: "I will now be challenging the Minister for Health and the HSE to outline why Donegal has been left out of this important State wide initiative and when we can expect to have this service available locally, to take some of the pressure of our major hospital in Letterkenny."
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