A total of €20.7 bn has been allocated to the HSE to run the health services this year, according to its National Service Plan, published on March 1.
HSE Chairman, Ciarán Devane said that some the HSE’s key priorities for 2022, included reducing waiting lists, building service capacity and supporting the progress of important Sláintecare reforms.
“Our key focus continues to be the provision of safe health and social care services and, simultaneously, the progression of fundamental reforms across our entire service delivery model in areas such as the delivery of Sláintecare, addressing waiting lists and waiting list times, women’s health and mental health services, along with national strategies”, he said.
The HSE said bed numbers within acute settings would significantly increase under the National Service Plan, including 1,146 additional acute beds by the end of 2022 and 19 additional critical care beds. This would bring the total number of adult critical care beds to 340 by the end of 2022.
“Ninety-six Community Healthcare Networks (CHNs) and 30 community specialist teams for older persons will be established, along with 30 community specialist teams for people living with chronic disease. This will reduce our dependence on a hospital-centric model of care.
“Crisis resolution services in mental health will continue to develop, with the addition of three teams and cafes in place by the end of the year. This will provide 900 additional interventions as alternatives to acute inpatient care and ED presentations. The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) telehealth hubs initiative will also progress, developing two further hubs in 2022. It is anticipated that 200 new service users will be seen.”
The HSE said the new National Forensic Mental Health Service woud be opened in Portrane, initially offering 110 beds and increasing to 130 during 2022.
Increased resourcing of Specialist Eating Disorder teams would support an additional 660 new cases per year, and additional Early Intervention in Psychosis teams would support a further 335 service users.
To enhance and expand disability services, 120,000 additional hours of personal assistant supports and 30,000 additional hours of home support would be delivered. Three additional specialist centre-based services would also be established to provide 4,032 respite nights to 90 children. 63 people (with disabilities) under the age of 65 would be transitioned from nursing homes and to the community.
“There is now renewed hope that we are moving towards a more normal environment in which we can tackle waiting lists, change and improve how we do many things and build on innovations made during the pandemic”, said HSE CEO Paul Reid. Looking at the year ahead, the HSE “will work to identify practical means to deal with the huge task in front of us to provide badly needed services to people who have been waiting for a long time.
“We remain deeply grateful for the public’s support and for the hard work and dedication of our HSE staff and look forward to continuing collaborative working in the coming year and using public funds to further improve the services we provide to the public.”
Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly said, “This is the largest financial allocation ever received by the health and social care services and it comes at a time when we are continuing to deliver reforms and improvements based on the recommendations of the Sláintecare report towards the delivery of Universal Healthcare.
“This National Service Plan for 2022 will improve outcomes for people who need to engage with our public health service, continue to see capacity increased, build on the reforms and improve timely access.
“The Plan supports health objectives set out in the Programme for Government, bringing us closer to Universal Healthcare, sees a huge focus on the promotion of Women’s Health, and in the post-COVID-19 environment we also focus on supporting positive Mental Health and Wellbeing amongst others.”