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Health | Winter Health Services

To ask the Minister for Health the extent to which the delivery of health services in the community and throughout the hospital service is geared to meet the challenges of the coming winter; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The HSE Winter Plan for 2022-23 was published on the 11th of October. The Plan will support acute and community services this winter to respond to anticipated high levels of emergency attendances and admissions across the acute sector, long waiting times in EDs, and high occupancy rates in acute hospital settings.

The plan is estimated to cost up to €169 million to implement. Key measures of the plan include:

  • the recruitment of 51 emergency medicine consultants and associated support staff
  • an overall recruitment of an additional 608 whole time equivalents of a mix of different professions across the hospital system
  • increased community intervention teams, GP supports and out of hours services to reduce the need for attendances at EDs
  • increased community services for mental health, disability and palliative care
  • increased community and acute diagnostics
  • expansion of ambulance services, including the completion of 9 pathfinder teams to improve ambulance turnaround times
  • a fund to support local, site-specific initiatives

The Winter Plan 2022/23 adopts a bottom-up approach with bespoke local plans that seek to address hospital-specific issues in conjunction with Community Healthcare Organisations.

The full Winter Plan 2022/23 is available on the HSE website (Winter Plan 2022-23 ( 

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