Vulnerable people were being discharged from Waterford Regional Hospital and told to find their own way home that involved them having to pay expensive taxi fares, a meeting of Waterford County Council was told in Dungarvan this week.

Some elderly patients were given the option of remaining in hospital and sleeping in a chair or wheel chair, said County Mayor, Nora Flynn (FG).

She said a man from Cappoquin was discharged from WRH and sent home to his elderly parents who were both pensioners in their 80s and they had to find €104 to pay the taxi fare when their son arrived. The man had been told that, if he remained in hospital, he would have had to sleep in a chair.

Another disabled man who was taken to WRH by his brother was given the option of sitting overnight in his wheelchair or else getting a taxi home, she added.

Mayor Flynn said not many people were aware that this was happening to vulnerable people and the situation should be clarified. The County Council should write to the HSE to find out about transport of patients and get somebody to come to a meeting and explain the situation.

Cllr Damien Geoghegan (FG) said he too had come across a number of similar cases where people were told to find their own way home from hospital.