Funding for paediatric orthopaedic surgery

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Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly has approved ambitious plans from Children’s Health Ireland and Cappagh Orthopaedic Hospital to reduce waiting times for children and adolescents awaiting paediatric orthopaedic surgery for conditions such as Spina Bifida and Scoliosis.

The plan includes specific ringfenced funding for Cappagh Kids.

Following a request from the Minister in January, the HSE and hospitals involved, developed a plan to improve waiting times for orthopaedic services.

Minister Donnelly said, “I have approved the plan and welcome the target to ensure that no scoliosis patient is waiting over four months for a procedure by the end of this year. Time is a critical factor in ensuring children with conditions such as Scoliosis and Spina Bifida have a positive outcome from their surgeries.”   

The plans set out the following targets:  

  • Reduce the number of Scoliosis patients waiting over four months from 94 at end of January 2022 to zero by end of year.
  • Increase Scoliosis spinal surgeries by 92 in 2022.
  • Reduce the total Scoliosis waiting list from 224 at end January 2022 to 128 by end of year.   
  • Treat an additional 107 Spina Bifida cases.

 A number of targeted actions will be implemented:  

  • An increase in in-patient/day case capacity through increased access to the theatres at Crumlin, Temple Street, and Cappagh as well as additional theatre space, beds, and MRI capacity.
  • Expansion/Reconfiguration of out-patient cases and additional active clinical triage.
  • Ringfenced and protected orthopaedic theatre time and beds.
  • Increased activity in Cappagh.
  • Enhanced the use of private sector facilities.