Bed shortage sees ICU patients sent straight home

A bed shortage across Victorian hospitals is seeing intensive care patients sent straight home instead of being transferred to general wards.

Western Health ICU Director Professor Craig French confirmed there had been instances at the Footscray and Sunshine hospitals in recent weeks.

He stressed, however, it was rare and said patients were only being sent home if it was safe.

ICU patients are being sent straight home. (Nine)

“Patients can even wait a few days before they’re discharged from intensive care and by that time they’re actually ready to go home,” French said.

“No one is being discharged early or anything like that but it is a reflection of the overall strain the health system is under at this time.”

French said when no beds were available, he had also been forced to keep patients in intensive care.

The subvariants and mutations of COVID-19

A combination of COVID-19 hospitalisation rising and healthcare workers isolating due to the virus has created stress in hospitals across the state.

Last night, the Royal Children’s Hospital warned of six-hour waits due to demand.

“It’s definitely daunting to think about what’s ahead but my experience as a student nurse has prepared me well,” student nurse Alana Hrehorsen said.

Some patients in Melbourne hospitals are being sent directly home from intensive care units. (Nine)

Almost 30 hospitals will benefit from the program, some include; Grampians Health Ballarat, Austin Health, Royal Children’s Hospital and Bendigo Health.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the announcement was a “significant boost” to support all healthcare workers.

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