Health Services Provided in 2020

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There were over 60,000 referrals to community intervention teams in 2020, (32% greater than expected activity), according to the HSE Annual Report for the year.

BowelScreen launched a new endoscopy unit at University Hospital Waterford in December 2020 to help the programme deliver vital services closer to where people live in the South East

Over 1.1 million patients were seen in community therapy settings (30% less than expected activity.

Over 17.5 million home support hours were delivered to almost 53,000 people and 149 people were in receipt of an intensive homecare package (lower than expected activity by 6%, 1% and 37%)

A total of 86 new emergency residential places were developed for people with a disability (34% more than expected activity)

Almost 10,500 referrals were seen by child and adolescent mental health teams (3% less than expected activity)

Over 920,000 day case procedures were carried out. (19% less than expected activity)

Over 560,000 inpatients were discharged from hospital (13% less than expected activity)

There were over 1.1 million new and return ED attendances (18% less than expected activity)

During the year, Adenosine Deaminase Deficiency Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (ADA-SCID) was added to the conditions screened for as part of the National Newborn Bloodspot Screening Programme.

BreastCheck operated a reduced service in 2020 but continued to provide a service for those women in the assessment phase of screening who were deemed to be at higher risk. A total of 56,270 women had a complete mammogram in 2020 (69.6% reduction against expected activity)

CervicalCheck paused primary care screening in March, but when the programme resumed screening in July, HPV testing went live in primary care with all screening being sent for HPV testing. The number of women who had one or more samplestaken in a primary care setting in 2020 was 143,028 (43.9% reduction against expected activity)

BowelScreen launched a new endoscopy unit at University Hospital Waterford in December 2020 to help the programme deliver vital services closer to where people live in the South East. The programme deferred issuing invites in March and resumed issuing new invitations for screening on a phased basis in August 2020, with 49,889 clients completing a satisfactory FIT test in 2020 (60.1% reduction against expected activity)

Diabetic RetinaScreen implemented a new digital surveillance pathway to be delivered within the community to assist the hospital treatment clinics in reducing the build-up of patients on waiting lists. Following paused screening, Diabetic RetinaScreen recommenced screening in July on a phased basiswith 62,281 people screened with a final grading result in 2020(43.4% reduction against expected activity)

During the year, in excess of 3,200 patients accessed specialist in patient beds with an equivalent number receiving specialist palliative care treatment in a home setting.

Disability services resources aligned with day services for adults were diverted to ensure that essential residential services were maintained. Special needs assistants were also redeployed from June to August to support 230 children with complex disabilities.A total of 86 additional emergency places were put in place in response to need and 4.7 million home support and personal assistance hours combined were provided.

Postponed services in 2020 included day-case services, electivesurgeries and outpatient appointments. Overall, when compared with 2019, elective inpatient activity reduced by 20% and day case activity by 16.5%.

There was a reduction in electronic referrals (eReferrals) from GPs to the RACs for investigation of possible breast, lung and prostate cancer during the first wave of the pandemic. In subsequent months, GP eReferrals generally returned to normal levels. By end 2020, total GP eReferrals to RACs (45,212) were 112.4% of total referrals in 2019.

The total number of primary prostate, breast and lung cancers diagnosed at RACs in 2020 (4,950) was 94.6% of the total number diagnosed in 2019 (5,184).

Over 360,000 emergency ambulance calls were responded to in2020 and almost 28,000 inter-hospital transfers were undertaken with 86% of patient transfer calls managed by the Intermediate Care Service.

There were 5,394 formal complaints recorded in 2020 and examined by complaints officers under the Health Act 2004 (as amended) and the Disability Act 2005. Of these, 277 were excluded from investigation under the ‘Your Service Your Say’ complaints process or withdrawn. Of the remaining 5,117 complaints, 2,916 or 57% were resolved by a complaints officer either informally or through formal investigation within 30 working days.

There were 14,073 compliments recorded in 2020. There were also 9,633 complaints recorded and examined by complaints officers. Of the total number of complaints received, 9,285 were investigated. The other 348 were either excluded or withdrawn. Of those investigated, 8,116 or 87% were resolved by a complaints officer either informally or through formal investigation within 30 working days.