Waiting lists still rising for Health Minster Edwin Poots

SHOCKING figures have revealed that hospitals in Northern Ireland are still failing to meet targets for patient care.

And in some cases waiting lists for treatment has seen over 3,000 people having to wait more than 12 hours to be treated.

It is a worrying report for Health Minister Edwin Poots who runs one of the biggest budgets within the Northern Ireland Executive.

Figures contained in a report reveal that targets have not been met in: inpatient treatment, cancer services, hip fractures, admissions and discharges, and unscheduled care.

The details are contained in the Department of Health and Social Services and Public Safety Resource Accounts 2011-13 which was published the day before the scathing report into the running of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

It states that there were 44 standards and targets set during the last financial year for Healh and Social Care (HSC) performance.

A number of them had been met; progress had been made in family support and intervention, multitp sclerosis, liver donor transplants and care management assessments.

The four health trusts were set a target of 95 per cent that patients urgertly referred for cancer services should be treated within 62 days.

The trusts fell well short with only 81 per cent of patients being treated within 62 days, down four per cent on last year.

They were asked to achieve a performance that 95% of patients wait no longer than 48 hours for inpatient treatment for hip.

However, only 84 per cent of patients were treated within 48 hours.

Other areas where the trusts fell down:

* TARGET: achieve 90 per cent of all complex discharges from acute hospitals within 48 hours of decision to discharge. RESULT: only 85 per cent took place;

* TARGET: maintain the 100 per cent standard of all non-complex discharges from an acute hospital setting take place within six hours of being declared medically fit. RESULT: 96 per cent discharged within six hours;

* TARGET: maintain 100 per cent standard that no from an from an acute hospital setting takes longer than seven days. RESULT: there were 1,251 discharges from an acute hospital took longer than seven days;

* TARGET: achieve performance level that 95 per cent of patients attending  A&E departments are either treated and discharged home, or admitted, within four hours of their arrival in the department. RESULT: 80 per cent were either admitted, treated or discharged within four hours;

* TARGET: achieve performance that no patient attending any A&E department should wait no longer than 12 hours either to be admitted, treated or discharged. RESULT: there were 10,213 breaches of the 12 hour standard in the last year compared to 7,386 in the previous year.

The report states: “Looking to the future, the Health and Social Care sector faces significant challenges to deliver on all its overall objectives and maintain quality services within a context of increasing demands and constrained resources.”


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