22/03/2019

Specialist Day Surgeries To Cut Waiting Lists

The Department of Health is accelerating plans to introduce specialist day surgeries to reduce patient waiting lists, with a public consultation expected before the end of 2019.

It comes after elective care centres for cataract and varicose vein procedures became operational in December 2018.

The long-term strategy for cutting waiting times is now due to be rolled out across a wide range of specialties, meaning the provision of thousands of routine operations will de transferred to dedicated sites.

The specialities involved are General Surgery, Endoscopy, Urology, Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, ENT, Paediatrics and Neurology.

By December 2020, the Department aims to transfer more than 100,000 day cases, 25,000 endoscopies and 8,000 paediatric procedures to the new model.
News Image
Newly established groups will take plans forward in each speciality, including identifying preferred sites for the centres. This work will help inform a regional model for day case surgery across Northern Ireland.

DoH Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly said: "Dedicated elective care centres are a priority and a key part of tackling hospital waiting times. All too often at present, routine surgery has to be postponed because hospital theatres are needed for urgent and emergency cases.

"By creating day surgery hubs on standalone sites away from 24 hour Emergency Departments, we can make our system more productive for the benefit of patients.

"A key issue will be the location of the centres. This will inevitably mean that some people will have to travel a bit further for their day surgery, but we will achieve significant and sustainable reductions in the waiting times for the procedures. Previous work suggests service users accept this trade off."

The planning groups for each of the specialities will include clinicians and representatives from HSC organisations. Evaluations from the prototype cataract and varicose vein centres will help inform the work.



(JG/CM)


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

24 June 2019
Over 1,400 Arrests For Drink Or Drug Driving
Over 1,400 people have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol so far in Northern Ireland this year, police have said. The figures were launched as the PSNI participates in a UK wide anti-drink drive campaign.
24 October 2018
New Operation Centres To Cut Hospital Waiting Lists
Health services will see a significant boost to their capacity and a drop in waiting lists, if the proposed 2,000 extra cataract operations for improving eyesight each year are approved, health authorities have said.
05 December 2017
Over Eight Hate Crime Incidents Reported In NI Every Day Last Year
Over eight hate crime incidents were reported to the police every day last year, according to new findings. The figure was higher than the equivalent rate in England and Wales, the latest inspection by the Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI) found.
06 November 2017
Convicted Murderer Charged With Being Unlawfully At Large From Prison
A 41-year-old convicted murderer has been charged with being unlawfully at large from Magilligan Prison. Stephen Henry was arrested on Friday, 03 November, after he failed to return to the jail after being granted day release. He is due to appear before Lisburn Magistrates' Court on Monday, 06 November.
19 June 2019
NI Firm Fined £15k After Man Dies On Work Site
A company in County Antrim is facing a fine of £15,000 after a man died at an excavation site at the rear of his house in Rathfriland.