National Treatment Purchase Fund Special Audit Programme 2018

The NTPF audit function plays a key role in providing independent objective assurance that the quality and accuracy of the hospital waiting lists data returned by hospitals are in line with national waiting list management protocols. The national protocols are intended to ensure there is a consistent and standardised approach to the management and scheduling of patients on hospital waiting lists.


The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) carried out a number of Special Audits in 2017 following the Primetime broadcast ‘Living on the List’.

At the time, it was considered by the Department of Health that the findings of those audits were indicative of potential waiting list management issues across the entire public acute hospitals system. For this reason, the Department requested the NTPF to extend the 2017 Special Audit Programme to cover other public acute hospitals in 2018.

Under the NTPF Audit Programme 2018, nine hospitals were audited over the period January-November 2018.
The audit reviewed the entire patient waiting list pathway for patients identified in the random samples. In particular, emphasis was placed on testing date captures and communication with patients during their wait time, in line with national protocols.

The Special Audit Report comprises:
1. An overview Report to the Minister for Health, setting out the NTPF’s key findings in relation to the management of waiting lists, and recommendations regarding actions to improve waiting list management at the system-level, and
2. Audit Reports in respect of the waiting list management practices of nine individual hospitals.

Next Steps

The HSE in its response to the audit findings, welcomes the fact that the nine hospitals audited have accepted the findings of the audit reports and have made significant progress in implementing the recommendations contained in the reports.

The HSE has also committed to seeking confirmation of the implementation of the identified recommendations specific to each hospital from the Hospital Group CEO’s.

The Minister for Health has instructed his Department officials to monitor the hospitals’ implementation of the key recommendations through the oversight mechanisms which are led by the Department and include the HSE and the NTPF.

Report to the Minister for Health

Special Audit 2018 Letterkenny University Hospital

Special Audit 2018 Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore

Special Audit 2018 Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital

pecial Audit 2018 Sligo Univesity Hospital

Special Audit 2018 St. James’s Hosptial Final Report

Special Audit 2018 St. Vincents University Hospital

Special Audit 2018 University Hospital Galway

Special Audit 2018 University Hospital Limerick

Special Audit 2018 University Hospital Waterford