The hubs for varicose veins were opened at Lagan Valley Hospital, and Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex.
In the Mid-Ulster Hospital, Downe Hospital, and the South Tyrone Hospital, similar prototype hubs were introduced for the treatment of cataracts.
Whilst still in their infancy, emerging results are positive and it is anticipated that long term this shift change in the way these elective surgical procedure are undertaken will result in up to 2,000 additional treatments for cataracts, and up to 500 more treatments for varicose veins annually.
In March this year plans were announced to extend the approach across a wide range of surgical specialities, including General Surgery and Endoscopy, Urology, Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, ENT, Paediatrics and Neurology.
By December 2020, the Department of Health aims to transfer more than 100,000 day cases, 25,000 endoscopies and 8,000 paediatric procedures to the new model.
Patient, Nigel Jess talks about his experience at the Cataract Hub in the South Tyrone Hospital in Dungannon, below.