Press Release

NTPF Publication of Waiting List Figures for November 2018

The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) have today (Thursday) published the waiting list numbers to the end of November.

The figures show that the number of patients waiting for an inpatient or day case hospital procedure at the end of November was just under 71,000.

Commenting on this month’s figures, Minister Harris said “Improving access for patients is a key priority and today’s publication highlights the continued progress that is being made by the HSE and the NTPF in delivering on this priority.

“One of the key targets for the NTPF in 2018 was to arrange an inpatient or day case treatment for 20,000 patients this year. I am very pleased that they have met this target by end November and they will continue to arrange treatments for patients over the remaining weeks of this year.

“As a result of this increased activity and the ongoing collaboration between the HSE and NTPF, the number of patients waiting for an inpatient or day case procedure has fallen to 70,989, from a peak of 86,100 in July 2017. This represents an 18% reduction in the overall number of patients waiting for a procedure.

“The figures show that significant progress is being made in meeting the Sláintecare recommendation that patients should wait no longer than 12 weeks for an inpatient procedure. Since July 2017 the number of patients waiting longer than 3 months has fallen from just under 58,000 to 41,600, a fall of 16,400 or 28%.

“The outpatient waiting list remains a significant challenge, however, it is welcome to see a small reduction in the numbers waiting this month. The number of patients on the outpatient list has remained relatively stable since August, albeit at a very elevated level of 515,000, and we will build on this stability in 2019.

“Improving access remains a priority in 2019 and the Government has further increased investment in this area with NTPF funding increasing from €55 million in 2018 to €75 million in 2019.”

In addition to the monthly data, the NTPF today also outlined the details of the support they will be providing to patients in Emergency Departments to complement the HSE Winter Plan, by arranging diagnostics in both private facilities and in-house.

Welcoming this support, the Minister said “A key challenge that our hospitals faced last year over the winter months was access to diagnostics. The NTPF has established a fund of €1m which will support the HSE Winter Plan with a focus on increasing access to diagnostics for patients presenting in Emergency Departments in December and January. This collaboration between the HSE and the NTPF is an example of the innovative approach that has been adopted this year to reduce the length of time that patients stay in the emergency department and in hospital.”

ENDS

Notes to the Editor

The monthly data is summarised here.

As can be seen from the data, the number of patients waiting longer than 9 months for an Inpatient/Daycase procedure has fallen by 5% since last month, the number waiting longer than 9 months for a GI Scope procedure has decreased by 3%, while the number of patients waiting longer than 9 months for a first outpatient appointment has increased by 0.5%.

Inpatient/Daycase Action Plan

The NTPF has placed an emphasis on reducing waiting times for patients for cataracts, hip and knee replacement or one of the other 7 high volume procedures (Varicose Veins, Tonsillectomies, Cystoscopies, Coronary Angiograms, Excision of Lesions). As a result, since July 2017 the total number of patients waiting longer than the Sláintecare threshold for one of these procedures has more than halved from 25,600 to 12,400.

The waiting list movement for high volume procedures from July 2017 to end November is set out here.