Waiting Lists and the Special Delivery Unit

Reduction in Waiting Lists
Hospitals across Ireland have achieved considerable success in
reaching the so called ‘9 month PTL’ target (Primary Targeting List).
The target, set by Health Minister Dr James Reilly at the start of
this year, required hospitals to ensure that no one is waiting more
than nine months for inpatient and day case treatments. According to
new statistics published last week by the Special Delivery Unit 27
(70%) hospitals fully achieved the target and have no persons waiting
for more than nine months for such treatment.

A total of 12 hospitals have made significant inroads but are left
with some work to do. At the start of 2012, 53,513 patients were
listed as being on the ‘9 month PTL’. In other words the non treatment
of such patients by the end of September would fall short of the
target. At the start of 2012, a total of 5,119 people were waiting
over 9 months for inpatient or day case surgery. At the end of
September a total of 415 persons were waiting over 9 months, a drop of
91.1%.

The Special Delivery Unit has also made further progress in reducing
the number of people waiting on trolleys. In the first nine months of
this year, the number of people on trolleys was reduced by 23.6% or
16,659 persons over the same period last year. HSE Director General
Designate, Tony O’Brien said that “While there are still too many
people waiting on trolleys in emergency departments, the continued
progress in achieving a reduction is of real importance. This
continued downward trend has been achieved with some investment but
mostly with hard work involving professionals on the front line.”

The Special Delivery Unit also gave further details of its work aimed
at tackling the scale of the outpatients waiting list. At Minister
Reilly’s direction the HSE and the SDU have taken a series of actions
to prepare for a methodical reduction of the Outpatient waiting list.
In recent days for the first time the true number of persons on the
list has been estimated at approximately 360,000 people.

The SDU gave details of two separate pieces of work providing for a
scientific measuring of the capacity in our hospitals ahead of a drive
to reduce the numbers. Dr Reilly has set as a target that by the end
of next year no outpatient will be waiting for treatment for more than
12 months.