Trust that serves Cookstown among worst for ‘patient waiting times’ of over 13 weeks

Northern Trust among worst hit for waiting lists
Northern Trust among worst hit for waiting lists

A total of 3,896 people have been waiting more than 13 weeks for specialist treatment at local hospitals in the Northern Health Trust.

The local waiting lists for occupational therapy and physiotherapy were among the worst in Northern Ireland, according to the latest figures released by the Health and Social Care Board.

Fears have been raised that waiting lists for appointments in local hospitals are spiralling out of control

Worryingly, the figures show massive variations in waiting lists across the North, with 2,631 patients waiting more than 13 weeks for physiotherapy in the local trust area, second only to the Belfast Trust with a waiting list of 3,250. The next highest list was the Western Trust’s which had just 21 people waiting for more than 13 weeks.

The discrepancy was also stark when it came to occupational therapy with 1,173 people in the Northern Trust waiting more than 13 weeks, the next highest was the Southern Trust with 227 on their list.

The figures paint a grim picture of thousands of patients suffering in silence as they languish on waiting lists. No patient in Northern Ireland is supposed to wait more than 15 weeks for an outpatient appointment, according to government targets.

But as the crisis in the health service deepens thousands of people across Northern Ireland have been waiting almost four months just to get a first appointment.

Fears have been raised that waiting lists for appointments in local hospitals are spiralling out of control.

The details emerged after Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly asked the Minister for Health Jim Wells how many people were on a waiting list for a first assessment by each Allied Health Profession, in each programme of care in the local trusts. SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone branded the waiting lists ‘unacceptable’.