Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (915)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

915. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health the average waiting time to see a consultant neurologist at Cork University Hospital. [7218/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

The HSE is currently recommending that only critical time dependent elective procedures are undertaken at this time due to the on-going and significant increased demand for bed capacity related to Covid-19.

This decision was made arising from the rapid increase in Covid-19 admissions and to ensure patient safety and that all appropriate resources were made available for Covid-19 related activity and time-critical essential work.

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 National Waiting List Management Policy is a standardised approach used by the HSE to manage scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures. It sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists and was developed in 2014 to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care.

The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) have advised my Department that as of the end of December 2020 the average waiting time to see a Consultant Neurologist at Cork University Hospital is 319 days.