Monday, 13 April 2009

Over 27,000 outpatient appointments in Northern Ireland cancelled through unavailability of staff

News that on average more than 500 outpatient appointments were cancelled each week last year in Northern Ireland because hospital staff were not available to deal with patients is startling.

What is shocking is that the figure is bound to be much, much higher since the total of 27,791 cancellations do not include those at the Belfast hospitals which are the biggest and busiest in the province.

Reasons for cancellations include doctors being absent for study leave, sickness, annual holidays or, even, retirement. These are valid enough reasons for staff absence. What is not valid is that the appointments system does not take account of such events.

It is obvious that there is a lack of joined up thinking in the health system.
I thought that was what the armies of administrators were for.

In spite of significant improvements in recent years, Northern Ireland is still one of the worst regions in Europe for heart disease.

There is an obvious solution to the problem of under-capacity in its regional cardiac surgery centre. Cut out the financial waste caused by the huge total of cancelled appointments and redeploy the savings into this vital area of healthcare.
Now there's an idea.

Source: Belfast Telegraph


Darwen Reporter said...

My husband has to attend our local eye hospital on a regular basis.

They are forever cancelling his appointments and at short notice too!

The NHS really cannot get their act together.

David Vance said...

Removing the State from the NHS is essential, in my view. The Government is drawn to bureaucracy and also interferes in health matters of which it knows nothing. As someone who lives in Northern Ireland, I would favour the NHS being closed tomorrow. The dead hand of government leads to may more dead hands.