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Publication of the June 2013 Northern Ireland Waiting List Statistics Releases

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety today published the June 2013 Northern Ireland Waiting List Statistics Releases.

The Waiting List Statistics Releases show detailed information on the number of people waiting for a first outpatient appointment, a diagnostic test or inpatient treatment at hospitals in Northern Ireland.

Key facts and figures for NI Waiting Times at end of June 2013

Waiting Times for a First Outpatient Appointment

· The 2013/14 Ministerial target relating to outpatient waiting times states that from April 2013, at least 70% of patients should wait no longer than nine weeks for a first outpatient appointment, increasing to 80% by March 2014; and no patient waiting longer than 18 weeks, decreasing to 15 weeks by March 2014.

Overall

· The total number of people waiting for a first outpatient appointment at the end of June 2013 was 113,744.

· This represented an increase of 13,970 (+14.0%) on the number waiting at the end of March 2013 (99,774) and was up 5,858 (+5.4%) on the number waiting at the same time last year (107,886).

Proportion waiting over nine weeks

· At the end of June 2013, 28.5% (32,432) of the total number waiting were waiting more than nine weeks for a first outpatient appointment, an increase from the 19.8% (19,764 out of 99,774 total patients) waiting more than nine weeks at the end of March 2013, and down from the 30.8% (33,203 out of 107,886 total patients waiting) waiting at the end of June 2012.

Patients waiting longer than 18 weeks

· The number of people waiting more than 18 weeks for a first outpatient appointment at the end of June 2013 was 5,359, 4.7% of the total number waiting. This compared with 1,670 waiting more than 18 weeks at the end of March 2013, 1.7% of the total waiting, and 9,230 (8.6%) waiting at the end of June 2012.

Completed Outpatient Waits for a First Appointment

· A total of 131,498 patients attended a first outpatient appointment during the June 2013 quarter, a decrease of 9,353 (-6.6%) on the quarter ending March 2013 (140,851) and an increase of 2,934 (+2.3%) on the quarter ending June 2012 (128,564). These figures include all activity commissioned by the Health Service in Health and Social Care hospitals and also include outpatient activity, commissioned by the Health Service, which is undertaken by the independent sector at locations other than Health and Social Care hospitals.

Waiting Times for First Appointment at an Integrated Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (ICATS)

Overall

· The total number of people waiting for a first ICATS Tier 2 appointment at the end of June 2013 was 8,031. This represents an increase of 1,284 (+19.0%) from the previous quarter (6,747), and an increase of 390 (+5.1%) from the end of June 2012 (7,641).

Proportion waiting over nine weeks

· At the end of June 2013, 10.7% of patients were waiting more than nine weeks for a first ICATS Tier 2 appointment (860 out of 8,031 total patients waiting), compared to 6.0% of patients (404 out of 6,747 total patients waiting) waiting at the end of March 2013, and 14.7% (1,123 out of 7,641 total patients waiting) at the end of the same quarter the previous year.

Patients waiting longer than 18 weeks

· There were 87 (1.1%) patients waiting longer than 18 weeks for a first ICATS Tier 2 appointment, compared with 16 patients (0.2%) waiting longer than 18 weeks at the end of March 2013, and 176 patients (2.3%) waiting at the end of June 2012.

Waiting Times for a Diagnostic Service

· The 2013/14 Ministerial target for diagnostic waiting times states that, from April 2013, no patient should wait longer than nine weeks for a diagnostic test.

Overall

· The total number of patients waiting at the end of June 2013 for a diagnostic service was 67,995, an increase of 2,077 (+3.2%) on the previous quarter (65,918), and an increase of 2,997 (+4.6%) on the number waiting at the end of June 2012 (64,998).

Patients Waiting Longer Than the 2013/14 Diagnostic Waiting Times Target

· At the end of June 2013, there were 11,241 patients waiting over nine weeks for diagnostic services, an increase of 546 (+5.1%) on the comparable figure for the end of March 2013 (10,695), and a decrease of 1,994 (-15.1%) on the position at 30th June 2012 (13,235).

Diagnostic Reporting Turnaround Times

· The Ministerial target for diagnostic reporting times states that, from April 2013, all urgent diagnostic tests should be reported on within two days of the test being undertaken.

Overall

· The total number of completed diagnostic reports verified and dispatched to the referring clinician during the quarter ending 30 June 2012 was 129,185, an increase of 2,919 (+2.3%) on the previous quarter (126,266), and an increase of 13,299 (+11.5%) on the same quarter in the previous year (115,886).

Performance against 2013/14 Diagnostic Reporting Time Target

· During the quarter ending June 2013, 91.2% of urgent diagnostic tests in Northern Ireland were reported, verified and dispatched within two days. Although the target that 100% of all urgent tests should be reported within two days was not met, each Trust managed to report on at least 86.7% of all urgent tests within two days, with the Northern HSC Trust reporting on 98.2%, compared to a rate of between 86.7% and 94.0% for all other Trusts.

Diagnostic Reporting Time Indicators of Performance

· The 2013/14 Ministerial indicators of performance for diagnostic reporting times refer to (i) the percentage of routine diagnostic tests reported on within two weeks of the test being undertaken, and (ii) the percentage of routine diagnostic tests reported on within four weeks of the test being undertaken.

· 98.7% of routine diagnostic tests were reported, verified and dispatched within four weeks (with 94.9% of routine diagnostic tests reported, verified and dispatched within two weeks). Each Trust managed to report at least 97.4% of all routine tests within four weeks.

Waiting Times for Inpatient Admission

· The Ministerial target, for inpatient waiting times, states that from April 2013, at least 70% of patients should wait no longer than 13 weeks for inpatient or day case treatment, and no patient should wait longer than 30 weeks, increasing to 80% by March 2014, and no patient waiting longer than 26 weeks for treatment.

Overall

· The total number of patients waiting for treatment at the end of June 2013 was 49,328.

· This total has increased by 1,639 (+3.4%) compared with the previous quarter (47,689), and has fallen by 3,498 (-6.6%) compared with the same quarter in the previous year (52,826).

Patients waiting over 13 weeks

· At the end of June 2013, there were 16,887 (34.2%) patients waiting more than 13 weeks for inpatient treatment. This number represented an increase of 2,011 on the figure for the previous quarter (14,876), and was down 4,860 on the number waiting over 13 weeks at the end of June 2012 (21,747).

· The proportion of people waiting more than 13 weeks for inpatient admission was 34.2% (16,887 out of 49,328 total patients waiting), compared to 31.2% at the end of March 2013 (14,876 out of 47,689 total patients waiting) and 41.2% at the end of June 2012 (21,747 out of 52,826 total patients waiting).

Patients waiting over 30 weeks

· There were 3,442 patients waiting longer than 30 weeks for inpatient admission at the end of June 2013, an increase of 1,856 on the previous quarter (1,586) and a decrease of 1,367 on the number waiting longer than 30 weeks at the end of June 2012 (4,809).

Completed Inpatient Waits

· A total of 50,433 inpatients were admitted to hospital, following an inpatient wait, during the June 2013 quarter. This was a decrease of 3,620 (-6.7%) on the quarter ending March 2013 (54,053) and was up 844 (+1.7%) on the quarter ending June 2012 (49,589). These figures include all activity commissioned by the Health Service in Health and Social Care hospitals and also include inpatient activity, commissioned by the Health Service, which is undertaken by the independent sector at locations other than Health and Social Care hospitals.

Notes to editors:

1. All publications are available on line at: http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/index/stats_research/hospital-stats/waiting_times_main/stats-waiting-times.htm

2. About the data

· The sources for the data contained in this release are the Departmental Information Returns CH3, QOAR, SDR1, DRTT, IS1, the DHSSPS Inpatient and ICATS Waiting Times Datasets and the Hospital Inpatient System Dataset. These returns collect information from HSC Trusts and the Health and Social Care Board on a quarterly basis.

· Figures include all privately funded patients waiting for treatment in Health Service hospitals and those patients who are resident outside Northern Ireland.

· Data incorporate all returns and amendments received from HSC Trusts up to 16 August 2013.

3. Outpatient definitions

· An outpatient appointment is to enable a patient to see a consultant or member of their firm.

· The waiting list figures include all outpatients who have not had their first appointments by the end of the quarter.

· Outpatient waiting list figures presented do not include maternity specialties 501 (Obstetrics), 510 (Obstetrics (Ante Natal)) and 520 (Obstetrics (Post Natal)).

4. Integrated Clinical Assessment and Treatment Services (ICATS) definitions

· From 1 April 2010, a number of Integrated Clinical Assessment and Treatment Services (ICATS) were officially introduced within the Health Service in Northern Ireland. ICATS is the term used for a range of outpatient type services for patients, which are provided by integrated multi-disciplinary teams of health service professionals, including GPs with a special interest, specialist nurses and allied health professionals. They are provided in a variety of primary, community and secondary care settings and they include assessment, treatment, diagnostic and advisory services.

5. Diagnostic Service definitions

· A diagnostic service provides an examination, test or procedure used to identify a person’s disease or condition and which allows a medical diagnosis to be made.

· The diagnostic waiting list figures presented include people waiting for a test with a diagnostic element including tests that are part diagnostic and subsequently part therapeutic. They do not include:

  • Patients currently admitted to a hospital bed and waiting for an emergency procedure;

  • Purely therapeutic procedures. A therapeutic procedure is defined as a procedure which involves actual treatment of a person’s disease, condition or injury;

  • Patients undergoing a planned programme of tests;

  • Patients waiting for procedures as part of a screening programme.

    6. Diagnostic Reporting Times definitions

    · The diagnostic reporting turnaround time is the length of time between the diagnostic test being undertaken and the results being verified and dispatched to the referring clinician.

    · The diagnostic reporting time target applies to a selected subset of diagnostic services. These services are: Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Computerised Tomography; Non-Obstetric Ultrasound; Barium Studies; DEXA Scan; Radio-Nuclide Imaging; Pure Tone Audiometry; Echocardiography; Perfusion Studies; Peripheral Neurophysiology; Sleep Studies; and Urodynamics Pressures and Flows.

    7. Inpatient definitions

    · Ordinary admissions include both (a) patients admitted electively with the expectation that they will remain in hospital for at least one night, and (b) non-elective admissions (e.g. emergency admissions). A patient who is admitted with either of the above intentions, but who leaves hospital for any reason without staying overnight, is still counted as an ordinary admission. Day cases are not included.

    · Day Cases are patients admitted electively during the course of a day with the intention of receiving care who do not require the use of a hospital bed overnight and who return home as scheduled. If this original intention is not fulfilled and the patient stays overnight, such a patient is counted as an ordinary admission.

    · The waiting list inpatient figures presented include people waiting to be admitted as inpatients either as day cases or ordinary admissions. They do not include:

  • Patients admitted as emergency cases;

  • Outpatients;

  • Patients undergoing a planned programme of treatment e.g. a series of admissions for chemotherapy;

  • Maternity (specialties 510 and 520);

  • Patients already in hospitals but included on other waiting lists;

  • Patients who are temporarily suspended from waiting lists.

    8. This information was collated by Hospital Information Branch, DHSSPS.

    Further information is available from:
    Hospital Information Branch,
    Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety,
    Annexe 2, Castle Buildings,
    Stormont, BT4 3SQ

    Telephone: 028 90 523264
    E-mail: Statistics@dhsspsni.gov.uk
    Internet: http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/index/stats_research/hospital-stats.htm

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