A range of initiatives will be undertaken to support the HSE’s Winter Plan, supported by an additional €600m for improved patient care in hospitals and in the community, while keeping healthcare staff and the general public safe during this global pandemic.

Key initiatives include additional acute bed capacity, home support packages, HSE procured private bed capacity, intermediate care beds, proposals for acute hospital egress; and additional Community Healthcare Networks and Community Specialist Teams (Older Persons and Chronic Diseases).

Paul Reid, CEO of the HSE, said: “This winter is going to be more difficult than any we’ve ever faced before. We are living with Covid-19, we are living differently, however we have planned differently and we have to take confidence in our Winter Plan.”

“By ensuring innovative healthcare measures, we can prioritise the health and wellbeing of our staff and the public, through the provision of healthcare pathways in the community and in our hospitals.”

The HSE chief said that the worst thing was to get complacent. “I am also asking those within the priority groups to ensure they get the flu vaccine and give themselves the best opportunity to stay well this winter.”

Anne O Connor, HSE’s Chief Operations Officer said: “For the forthcoming winter period, we are focusing on the resumption of health services, while preparing for the expected pressures associated with winter and delivering services in the context of the continuing presence of Covid-19. Guidance, new processes, and infrastructure will be critical to supporting the resumption of service delivery.

Click here to download the HSE Winter Plan 20/21