Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Questions (274)

Stephen Donnelly


274. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the reason such a large proportion of children who are clinically listed for spinal surgery have been moved to a suspended category of wait list. [40846/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I am sorry that any child and their family experience a long waiting time for treatment for scoliosis.

However, the Children's Hospital Group have advised that the clinical criteria for determining a care plan for scoliosis related surgeries and other spinal procedures is complex and is based on established clinical guidelines and best practice both nationally and internationally.

For some children who have additional problems which may require multidisciplinary team management, their treatment plan often requires extensive discussions so that the appropriate surgery can be scheduled in a timely manner. Some children may require a number of investigations or small procedures prior to a decision being made about definitive surgery. This plan is communicated to the patient’s family.

The Children's Hospital Group advise that all suspensions of scoliosis patients are managed in line with NTPF guidelines. Patients in the suspended category are those that are not clinically ready for surgery therefore at a point in time. There is a plan in Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin to progress a clinical case management system to categorise and manage those patients who do not need to be on a waiting list.

The CHG advise that at the end of September there were 24 patients on the suspended list at Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin and in reviewing these patients there appears to be a number of patients who will be clinically deemed as not requiring surgery in 2018. These patients will be managed via the clinical case management system in the coming weeks in order to ensure that a safe, quality system is in place to support clinical decisions and case management.