Children on 4-year Crumlin wait list given appointments

1200 patients waiting over two years to see out-patient specialist at hospital

Over 1200 children are on the outpatient waiting list at Our Lady’s  Children’s Hospital Crumlin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Over 1200 children are on the outpatient waiting list at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Tue, Jul 23, 2013, 12:48

Ten children who have been waiting over four years for an appointment at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin will all be seen within the next three months.

The hospital clarified the situation after waiting list figures published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund for June showed that ten children were waiting over four years for their first outpatient appointments the hospital.

The hospital was “always concerned about long waiters”, a spokeswoman said. Of the ten children waiting over four years, five had already been seen and five were scheduled with appointments for the next three months, she said.

Of the ten children, six were waiting to see an orthopaedic specialist while four were waiting to see a specialist in infectious diseases.

The figures also showed that some 1200 children on the outpatient list at the Dublin hospital have been waiting two years or more for their first outpatient appointment. This includes 59 children waiting three to four years and 1,132 have been waiting between two and three years.

Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital has reduced the waiting list by 21 per cent as part of an exercise to tackle lists, a spokeswoman said. The hospital is in the process of contacting every family on the waiting list with each request being reviewed by a consultant so they can be prioritised, she said.

This process is ongoing and will be reflected in figures published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund in July, she said. It is part of a national programme being carried out by every hospital in conjunction with the Health Service Executive and the Department of Health’s Special Delivery Unit to validate and cut waiting lists ,she said.

Of the 1201 children on the outpatient list there are 61 children with possible heart problems who have been waiting two to three years for their first paed-cardiology appointment and two have been waiting three to four years.

The biggest waiting list over two years is opthamology (eye specialist ) where 360 children have been waiting 2-4 years while 228 children were waiting two to three year for ear nose and throat appointments (otolaryngology).

The hospital is slightly better than the national average for waiting times . Figures for first visit outpatient waiting times in June for hospitals across Statehave been published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund.

There are 15,977 children on Our Lady’s hospital out-patient waiting list as of June. Of these 7.5 per cent are waiting two years or more and .06 per cent are waiting four years.

Nationally 8 per cent are waiting two years or more and 1 per cent o are waiting over four years.