HSE Launch Winter Plan 2018/2019

The HSE has published the highly anticipated Winter Plan 2018/19. The €30 million plan seeks primarily to support older people and their transition from the acute setting, and to support acute and community operations.

More than 60% of people aged over 50 in Ireland are living with a chronic health condition leaving them more vulnerable to infection. Therefore, it is vital that these people receive the flu and pneumonia vaccines, the HSE has said.

Speaking at the launch of the HSE’s Winter Plan 2018/2019 Dr Vida Hamilton, HSE National Clinical Advisor Acute Hospitals, said; “More than 60 per cent of people over 50 are living with a chronic condition such as asthma, COPD, diabetes and heart failure. They, along patients living with cancer and immunosuppression, are more vulnerable to infection and need to protect themselves with vaccination against flu and pneumonia. We know that 20 per cent of winter admissions are due to chest infections and prevention is always better than cure. Handwashing is vitally important as viruses can live for days on surfaces and our hands then bring the bugs to our faces, which can lead to winter vomiting or flu. Every time you wash your hands you protect yourself.”

The plan focuses on: Preparedness of the entire health system to deal with winter pressures from 1 December 2018 to 31 March 2019 including: Increased number of patient attendances at emergency departments, increased number of patients requiring hospital admission, infection outbreaks in health service and wider community, heightened requirements for isolation due to infection prevention and control requirements, high hospital bed occupancy rates (currently 95-100 per cent) and increased numbers of patients in acute hospitals whose discharge is delayed.

Key Sites of Concern
9 sites, on the basis of trolley performance in recent winters, together with performance year to date, have been identified as key sites of concern for Winter 2018 / 2019:
1. Mater University Hospital
2. St. Vincent’s University Hospital
3. Tallaght University Hospital
4. Naas General Hospital
5. Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore
6. Galway University Hospital
7. University of Limerick Hospital
8. Cork University Hospital
9. University Hospital Waterford

Stay well this Winter – have your own Winter Plan!

Did you get the Flu Vaccine?
If you haven’t already done so, get the flu vaccine- ask your local Haven Pharmacy for advice. Prevention is better than cure!

Do you wash your hands properly?
Wash your hands regularly to avoid catching and spreading infection. Ask our local Haven Pharmacist about anti-bacterial gels, hand sanitizer and wipes to ensure your hands are bacteria free even when you are on the go

Are you taking your medicines correctly?
Check with your local Haven Pharmacist to ensure you have enough for the holiday period, don’t be caught short. Check when your local Haven Pharmacy re-opens again after Christmas so you can plan your next prescription.

Are you using your devices correctly?
Use your devices correctly for monitoring and treatment. Ask your local Haven Pharmacist to check your technique whether it is an inhaler or blood pressure monitor – it is a good idea to check that you are using the device correctly.

The HSE have put together some information to help you stay well this winter and along with useful advice if you are feeling under the weather – click here for more information