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Swift action promised on waiting lists

Swift action promised on waiting lists

Saturday 04 March 2023

Swift action promised on waiting lists

Saturday 04 March 2023

Health bosses say that long waiting lists for some services should be markedly reduced by the summer.

Around 1,000 people are waiting for endoscopy appointments, be it first time or follow up procedures.

A Scrutiny panel this week heard that the Committee for Health and Social Care hopes to reduce these numbers to between 100 and 200 by June this year. This should also restore the targeted maximum wait time for a procedure to no more than eight weeks.

HSC President, Deputy Al Brouard, confirmed that seven British firms have been consulted to help cut the endoscopy list.

Final recruitment processes are ongoing before a programme of work can begin within operating theatres across approximately eight weekends, he said.

Scrutiny President, Deputy Yvonne Burford, noted that waiting lists are up 40% compared to 15 months ago. 

Medical Director Dr Peter Rabey said some patients who should be discharged are blocking beds in the hospital due to a lack of available care packages, and covid-induced procedure cancellations have contributed to long waiting lists for services.

Watch: Scrutiny question HSC over waiting lists.

Pre-covid, the average waiting list for gastroenterology was under 150 patients. Since the pandemic, the number awaiting treatment has hovered between 400 and 500 people, according to Dr Rabey.

Many patients, around 40%, have been waiting more than six months for specialist appointments.

Express first reported that the island’s bowel cancer screening programme had been suspended in November.

HSC and the MSG decided to prioritise treating symptomatic patients due to a long colonoscopy waiting list, and this will continue until the numbers waiting reduce.

Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health, however told Scrutiny that this could resume by June too once endoscopy backlogs are back under control. 

FIT screening tests should be sent out in the post every two years to those in their 60s.


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