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Review of acute cancer beds.A review of admissions to cancer services at University Hospital Galway (UHG) was undertaken to assess the appropriateness of hospital usage. All cancer specialty patients admitted from 26-28 May 2009 were reviewed (n = 82). Chi square tests, Exact tests, and One-way ANOVA were utilised to analyse key issues emerging from the data. Fifty (61%) were classified as emergencies. Twenty three (67%) occupied a designated cancer bed with 24 (30%) in outlying non-oncology wards. The mean length of stay was 29.3 days. Possible alternatives to admission were identified for 15 (19%) patients. There was no evidence of discharge planning for 50 (60%) admissions. There is considerable potential to make more appropriate utilisation of UHG for cancer patients, particularly in terms of reducing bed days and length of stay and the proportion of emergency cancer admissions, and further developing integrated systems of discharge planning.