25 August 2021
By Tom Collins
Sinn Fein TD for Cork North Central has today written to the CUH and the Minister for Health requesting that inspections be carried out of the suitability of people’s homes and the plan for discharge before they leave the hospital.
“I’m being contacted by a lot of people recently who have themselves, or have had family members, discharged from CUH to homes that are not suitable and with no support plan in place.
“When a loved one is in hospital, getting them home is the number one priority. It has to be the role of the hospital to ensure that they are going home to suitable conditions. There needs to be accessibility studies done, home help hours secured and discussions with families.
“This is particularly important with people who have suffered debilitating injuries or illness and will have to change their lifestyle. We cannot expect someone in a wheelchair to live in a home with stairs up to.
“Adaptation works need to be identified and carried out before discharge.
“Occupational therapists, or whoever is making the decision on discharge, must do a home inspection either in person or through video link. I’ve had one constituent inform me that the discharge plan was decided based on ‘Google map’ images of her home.
“This is simply not good enough. It damages people’s chance at getting better and it places far too much pressure on families who are already struggling.
“We cannot have people coming home into unsuitable and unsafe conditions. We cannot expect family members to drop everything to care for someone who needs home help hours.
“I fully understand that the CUH are under-resourced and understaffed. The Minister now needs to work with them to come up with a plan so that people are leaving the hospital and going into suitable conditions.
“Staff are doing their best in the conditions they’re being forced to work in but people are suffering because of the need for quick discharge.
“The constant overcrowding of the CUH highlights the dire need for a hospital on the Northside. Our health system is at breaking point and vulnerable people are slipping through the cracks.”