Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (767)

Patricia Ryan


767. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on the waiting list for the pain management clinic at Tallaght University Hospital for over one, two, three, four and five years, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37775/20]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

It is recognised that waiting times for scheduled appointments and procedures have been impacted as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic the HSE had to take measures to defer most routine scheduled care activity in March, April, and May of this year. This was to ensure patient safety and that all appropriate resources were made available for Covid-19 related activity and urgent time-critical work. This decision was in line with the advice issued by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) in accordance with the advice of the World Health Organisation.

Patient safety remains at the centre of all hospital activity and elective care scheduling. To ensure services are provided in a safe, clinically-aligned and prioritised way, hospitals are following HSE clinical guidelines and protocols.

The HSE continues to optimise productivity through alternative work practices such the use of alternative settings including private hospitals, community facilities and alternative outpatient settings.

In addition, the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) is currently reviewing strategies to maximise activity and benefit for patients, to include, increased use of private hospitals, funding weekend and evening work in public hospitals, funding “see and treat” services where minor procedures are provided at the same time as outpatient consultations, funding hybrid services where public and private hospitals contribute to the treatment of patients, virtual clinics and clinical validation.

The NTPF have advised my Department that as of October 2020 there are 1,156 patients on the Outpatients Pain Relief waiting list at Tallaght University Hospital. This represents an 11% decrease on the December 2019 figure.

The detailed information requested by the Deputy is outlined in the attached document. The NTPF have advised my Department that currently there is no patient waiting more than four years for this service in Tallaght University Hospital.

Patients Waiting list