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Ireland St James' Hospital slammed for offering staff cash prizes in a bid to free up beds faster

10:05  05 december  2019
10:05  05 december  2019 Source:   dublinlive.ie

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The competition at St James ' Hospital in Dublin was aimed at freeing up hospital beds and improving patient flow. "Transferring patients to the Discharge Lounge means that beds are vacated in a more timely fashion on the wards. "This system allows the hospital to effectively monitor admissions

St . James ' Hospital , the country's largest, has issued a public apology following the reveal. The initiative was apparently put in place to try and improve patient "Transferring patients to the discharge lounge means that beds are vacated in a more timely fashion on the wards," the spokesperson added.

a sign on the side of a building © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

Experts have slammed St James’ Hospital for offering its staff cash prizes in a bid to free up beds faster.

The hospital was offering prizes of up to €500 as part of a competition to get discharged patients to vacate their beds early in the day.

The move by the Dublin hospital was criticised as “ill-judged” by the Irish Hospital Consultants Association.

The posters for the competition have since been taken down and St James’ has apologised for the same.

But a spokesperson for the Irish Hospital Consultants Association said that it isn't the posters but the severe shortage of acute hospital beds which is the main issue.

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St James 's Hospital displayed posters with the slogan 'the battle is on' as part of a competition to move patients on before 11am. As part of efforts to improve patient flow and to free up the beds of patients leaving the hospital , staff at St James 's Hospital in Dublin have been offered prizes of up to €500.

The Irish Independent reported today that St James ’s Hospital has been offering staff members cash prizes of up to €500 as part of a competition to discharge The contest has allegedly been underway in the hospital since October and it is aimed at improving patient flow to free up beds in the facility.

They said: “While the method, encouraging prompt discharge of patients at Saint James’ Hospital through incentives for individual hospital wards, was ill-judged, it does not take away from the underlying issue faced by the hospital professionals and all acute hospitals across the country. Namely, the severe shortage of acute hospital beds.

“This lack of bed capacity is placing huge pressures on all hospital staff to ensure that patients requiring treatment can access timely care, including through freeing up hospital beds and getting patients off trolleys.”

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The Irish Independent reported today that St James ’s Hospital has been offering staff members cash prizes of up to €500 as part of a competition to discharge The contest has allegedly been underway in the hospital since October and it is aimed at improving patient flow to free up beds in the facility.

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They added: “Ireland has one of the lowest number of acute hospital beds in the EU, at 31% below the EU average. This has led to an exceptional high bed occupancy rate of 94% in our acute hospitals.

“This lack of capacity translates in practice into significant numbers of patients waiting on chairs or being treated on trolleys, and intensifies pressures on staff, such as at St. James’ Hospital, to discharge patients as quickly as medically appropriate.

“However, yet again, the real scandal is the Government continuing to ignore this issue.”

INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said that she was happy that posters have been removed.

Speaking to Sean O’Rourke on RTE Today yesterday [wed], she added that the story was “in danger of blowing into something that it’s not”.

She also said that the competition was a “clumsy” way of saying the hospital’s new discharge lounge was open for business.

The discharge lounge allows discharged patients a space to wait for their prescriptions and transport to go home.

A spokesperson for the hospital said that the main goal of the discharge lounge was to improve patient flow throughout the hospital.

They added: "St James's places particular emphasis on the full utilisation of our Discharge Lounge capacity.

"This has included an incentive scheme where based on performance, individual wards can access funding for patient comforts or staff development. Staff do not gain any personal financial benefit from this initiative."

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