Good practice around the management of hospital waiting lists recommends periodic validation of waiting lists.
Validation is the process whereby hospital administration contacts patients on waiting lists at pre-planned intervals during the year to ensure that patients are ready, willing, suitable and available to attend a hospital appointment or wish to be removed.
Importantly, the validation process allows for situations where, if requested by the GP/referring clinician, patients can be reinstated back to their original place on to the Waiting List.
Last year, I approved the establishment of a Central Waiting List Validation Office within the NTPF. The new office delivers a standardisation of approach to validation across all waiting lists and all hospitals in line with the best patient-centred practices. The validation of waiting lists better informs the true demand for hospital services and enable improved efficiency and patient scheduling.
The data requested by the deputy is outlined in the attached document and sets out details of the number of patients who were validated off the Outpatient Waiting List through the HSE validation exercise undertaken in 2018.