University and Merlin Park Hospitals [GUH] are aiming to reduce their number of “no show” patients further in the coming months.
A recent meeting of the HSE West’s regional health forum was told that a new call centre has been set up for patients to contact the hospitals about their appointments in a bid to reduce the numbers who fail to turn up.
The chief executive of the West/North West Hospital Group Bill Maher stated that the city hospitals have increased the use of web text reminder services to help patients contacting them.
“The Do Not Attend (DNA ) rate is now below 10 per cent for new patients and we are striving to reduce this to 7.5 per cent,” he said.
Meanwhile the longest hospital waiting lists are in the areas of ear, nose and throat, nephrology, eyes, maxillo facial, orthopaedics, plastic surgery, vascular, rheumatology and urology. All these specialities have patients waiting since 2010.
GUH, Roscommon and Portiuncula hospitals have reduced the number of patients waiting for more than a year for an appointment from 43,576 to 16,682 as of the middle of last month.