Galway hospital worst offender with average wait of 300 days

A damning report has highlighted the extent of the “excessive and unsafe waiting times” for referrals to hospital outpatient services, with Galway again named and shamed as having the longest wait in the country.

The report published yesterday by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA ) which found the management of patient referrals was poor, has found that patients should not wait more than 90 days to be seen for an outpatient referral, however, only six out of the 22 hospitals which submitted data to HealthStat actually achieved this target. Unsurprisingly Galway was leading the offenders, giving the worst performance (as of November 2010 ) with the average wait for an appointment in a consultant-led clinic at 300 days.

The report, entitled ‘Patient Referrals from General Practise to Outpatient and Radiology Services’, attributed referral delays to “failures in communication, lack of protocols for care handover, differing systems of care provision between providers, and lack of clarity about where responsibility and accountability for patient care lies in such situations”.

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