Belfast Telegraph

Varadkar welcomes fall in numbers waiting too long for hospital treatment

The number of people waiting too long for hospital treatment has fallen, the Taoiseach said.

The total awaiting procedures has reduced from a high of 86,000 to 80,595, Leo Varadkar added.

He told the Dail: "What we are going to see is consistent, steady falls in the number of people waiting."

Mr Varadkar said funding will be increased for the national treatment purchasing fund.

Long waiting times in emergency departments and doctors with no time to talk to patients are among a number of concerns raised in a new healthcare survey.

The survey of more than 13,000 people discharged from public acute hospitals across the country found that 30% of emergency department patients were admitted to a ward within the six-hour target.

Almost 50% of patients said they could not find a member of staff to talk to about their worries or fears and they needed doctors to have more time to discuss care and treatment.

Also, 36% of those surveyed said they were not involved as much as they would have liked in decisions about their care.

The area identified to be in need of the greatest improvement related to the discharge or transfer of patients.

The survey found that better communication with patients was needed in relation to the side effects of medication, danger signals to watch out for after discharge, and how patients should care for themselves at home.

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