Targeted activity under Waiting List Action Plan running ahead of target

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New hospital waiting list figures published on July 14 by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) showed, as at the end of June, that targeted activity under the Waiting List Action Plan was running ahead of target, according to the Department of Health.

“As a result, we now have 490,689 people on the Active Waiting Lists (inpatient / day case, GI Scopes and outpatients) waiting longer than the Sláintecare maximum wait times, which is a 1.2% decrease in comparison to the end of May.

“As at the end of June 2023:

  • 52,004 people are currently exceeding the 12-week inpatient / day case (IPDC) target which is a slight increase compared to the end of May.
  • 10,611 people are exceeding the 12-week GI Scope target which is a slight increase compared to the end of May.
  • 428,074 people are exceeding the 10-week outpatient (OPD) target, which is a 1% decrease compared to the end of May.

“The figures also show that, in common with health services across Europe, we continue to see significantly higher additions to waiting lists than projected.”

The Department said the total number of patients removed from the OPD, IPDC and GI Scope waiting lists during the first five months of 2023 was c.28,000 (c.4%) higher than target, while additions to waiting lists in the same period were c.52,000 (c.8%) higher than projected. Additions to waiting lists were also c.79,000 (c.13%) higher than in the same period in 2022, and c.83,000 (c.14%) higher than the same period in 2019.

“The HSE attributes higher than anticipated additions to waiting lists to several factors, including post-pandemic pent-up demand. Health services internationally, including in the UK for example, are seeing higher additions compared to previous years.

“For the most recently available 12 months of data, there were 3.4 million outpatient and 1.7 million inpatient / day case attendances. In addition to this planned (‘scheduled’) care, our hospital system also treated 1.6 million patients during this same period in emergency (‘unscheduled’) care, which represents a 10% increase on 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels and reflects the ongoing pressure on hospitals and increased Emergency Department (ED) attendances, particularly amongst older people.

“Such pressures have had the expected knock-on impact on scheduled care in many of our hospitals in the first months of this year, which has resulted in some waiting lists temporarily increasing. However, there are many examples of individual hospitals delivering significant improvements in waiting times despite such challenges.

“For example, over the past year, Roscommon University Hospital has reduced the number of patients waiting over 18 months for an OPD appointment by 70% from 1,915 to 584, CHI Crumlin has reduced the number of patients waiting over 18 months for an OPD appointment by 36% from 5,103 to 3,291 and the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore has reduced the number of patients waiting over 12 months for an IPDC procedure by 74% from 221 to 57.

“The figures below are based on the most recent data from the NTPF against this time last year.”

The Department said other examples of progress were:

ULHG

University Hospital Limerick reduced the number of patients waiting for an OPD appointment by 33% in the last year, from 43,437 to 28,971.

Croom Orthopaedic Hospital  reduced the number of patients waiting for IPDC procedures by 24% in the last year, from 442 to 334.

St. John’s Hospital Limerick have reduced the number of patients waiting over 12 months for a colonoscopy or OGD appointment by 100% in the last year, from 133 to 0.

SAOLTA

Mayo University Hospital reduced the number of patients waiting over 18 months for an OPD appointment by 56% in the last year, from 3,135 to 1,371.

Letterkenny University Hospital  reduced the number of patients waiting over 12 months for an IPDC procedure by 54% in the last year, from 908 to 416.

Galway University Hospitals have reduced the number of patients waiting over 13 weeks for a colonoscopy or OGD appointment by 61% in the last year, from 1,309 to 505.

CHI

CHI at Temple St reduced the number of patients waiting over 18 months for an OPD appointment by 53% in the last year, from 3,759 to 1,767.

CHI at Crumlin reduced the number of patients waiting over 12 months for an IPDC procedure by 10% in the last year, from 1,019 to 914.

SSWHG

Cork University Hospital  reduced the number of patients waiting for an OPD appointment by 6% in the last year, from 39,286 to 36,774.

University Hospital Kerry  reduced the number of patients waiting for IPDC procedures by 46% in the last year, from 382 to 205.

Cork University Hospital reduced the number of patients waiting over 13 weeks for a colonoscopy or OGD appointment by 78% in the last year, from 374 to 82.

IEHG

St. Vincent’s University Hospital reduced the number of patients waiting over 18 months for an OPD appointment by 68% in the last year, from 1,475 to 479.

Our Lady’s Hospital Navan  reduced the number of patients waiting for IPDC procedures by 24% in the last year, from 922 to 693.

Wexford General Hospital  reduced the number of patients waiting for a colonoscopy or OGD appointment by 58% in the last year, from 891 to 370.

RCSI

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda  reduced the number of patients waiting over 18 months for an OPD appointment by 47% in the last year, from 214 to 114. Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown have reduced the number of patients waiting for IPDC procedures by 29% in the last year, from 1,372 to 965.

DMHG

Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital reduced the number of patients waiting for an OPD appointment by 5% in the last year, from 2,980 to 2,842.

Naas General Hospital  reduced the number of patients waiting for IPDC procedures by 52% in the last year, from 275 to 130.

Naas General Hospital have reduced the number of patients waiting for a colonoscopy or OGD appointment by 25% in the last year, from 752 to 563.