The Department of Health today published the quarterly Northern Ireland Inpatient and Day Case Waiting Times Statistics, relating to the position at 31st March 2019.
The Waiting Times Statistics releases show detailed information on the number of people waiting for inpatient or day case treatment at hospitals in Northern Ireland.
Key facts and figures for NI Inpatient and Day Case Waiting Times at end of March 2019
Waiting Times for Inpatient and Day Case Admission:
- The 2018/19 Ministerial target, for inpatient and day case waiting times, states that by March 2019, 55% of patients should wait no longer than 13 weeks for inpatient or day case treatment, with no patient waiting longer than 52 weeks.
- At 31st March 2019, a total of 87,450 patients were waiting to be admitted to hospitals in Northern Ireland, 1.3% (1,155) fewer than at 31st December 2018 (88,605), and 8.5% (6,880) more than at 31st March 2018 (80,570).
- At 31st March 2019, 65.0% (56,871) of patients were waiting more than 13 weeks to be admitted for treatment, compared with 64.6% (57,237) at 31st December 2018 and 62.3% (50,228) at 31st March 2018.
- At 31st March 2019, 25.6% (22,350) of patients were waiting more than 52 weeks for either an inpatient or day case admission, compared with 21.7% (21,477) at 31st December 2018, and 20.4% (16,454) at 31st March 2018.
- During the quarter ending March 2019, 43,824 patients received inpatient and day case treatment, 3.6% (1,659) fewer than during the quarter ending 31st December 2018 (45,483) and 5.4% (2,238) more than during the quarter ending 31st March 2018 (41,586).
- At 31st March 2019, 488 patients were waiting to be admitted to a Varicose Veins RASC, with a further 647 patients waiting to be admitted to a Cataracts RASC.
Notes to editors:
1. All publications are available online.
2. About the data
- The source for the data contained in this release is the DoH Inpatient Waiting Time Dataset. These returns collect information from HSC Trusts and the Health and Social Care Board on a quarterly basis.
- Figures will also include privately funded patients waiting to be seen/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 5th June 2019.
- In December 2018, prototype ‘Regional Assessment and Surgical Centres’ (RASCs) became operational for the surgical treatment of Cataracts and Varicose Veins. Patients waiting for either of these procedures can now be referred to a RASC for treatment rather than attend the hospital site they may have been referred to previously.
- Due to these changes in operational service delivery and concomitant changes in how inpatient waiting times are recorded, data and information about RASC Waiting Lists is provisional and subject to revision. They are not National Statistics and have been provided to the Department of Health by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB).
3. Inpatient and Day Case definitions
- Inpatient 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. The figures in this statistics release only include non-emergency admissions.
- 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 figures presented include people waiting to be admitted as inpatients either as day cases or inpatient admissions. They do not include:
- Patients admitted as emergency cases;
- Patients undergoing a planned programme of treatment e.g. a series of admissions for chemotherapy;
- Maternity (specialties 510 and 520);
- Patients currently receiving inpatient treatment in hospitals but who are included on other waiting lists; and
- Patients who are temporarily suspended from waiting lists.
4.This information was collated by Hospital Information Branch, Department of Health.
Further information is available from:
Hospital Information Branch,
Department of Health
Annexe 2, Castle Buildings,
Stormont, BT4 3SQ
5. Media queries to Department of Health Press Office on 02890 520074, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer on 02890 378110.
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