The number of delayed discharge patients from hospitals in Ireland has increased by more than 60% in the past two years following a lack of step-down or other facilities, a new report said.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) report said that there were 909 delayed discharge patients in hospitals across the country in August 2009, resulting in the closure of 934 hospital beds.

The number of delayed discharges increased by 22% compared to the same period last year and by 63% when compared to 2007 figures, the report said.

The HSE report is based on data collected from 37 hospitals excluding maternity, paediatric or single speciality centres.