Clinical Analysis of Discharge Patterns from HSC Hospitals in Northern Ireland

Date published: 12 November 2020

On 27 February, 2020, authorities confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Northern Ireland and on 19 March the first COVID-19 death in Northern Ireland was reported. At the time of writing (early November 2020), between 716 and 979 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 in Northern Ireland, depending on the definition used.

Care home residents have accounted for about half of all deaths in Northern Ireland. A question has arisen as to whether communication from the Northern Ireland Department of Health led to accelerated discharges from HSC hospitals to free up inpatient capacity, and whether this caused COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes and subsequent excess deaths of care home residents.

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