Two holidays result in the loss of 90 clinics

editorial image

The two May Bank Holidays resulted in 90 clinics and 66 operating sessions being lost across the Western Trust, it’s emerged.

The holidays - on May 5 and May 26 - had a direct impact on performance, according to a Trust chief.

The Director of Acute Services at the health authority, Geraldine McKay, advised the Trust Board, that “in early 2014/15 performance was seeing the impact of two Bank Holidays on clinics.”

“Mrs McKay said that this had equated to 90 clinics and 66 operating sessions being lost as a result,” the Minute adds.

Mrs Teresa Molloy, the Director of Performance and Service Improvement, told that Board that the Trust was falling short of meeting its targets for elective care, when patients are placed on waiting lists prior to treatment.

Eighty per cent of patients should not have to wait longer than nine weeks for a first outpatient appointment but in March 2014 the Trust figure fell just short at 79.5 per cent. This fell to just 73 per cent by the end of April.

Eighty per cent of patients should not have to wait longer than 13 weeks for day case treatment but the Trust position at the end of March was 72 per cent, whilst at the end of April it was 70 per cent.

Mrs Molloy also told Board members that pressure was being experienced across several specialities and that “recovery plans” were in place to deal with this.

“She said that there were a number of recovery plans in place across a range of specialities.

“She said that in relation to the Oral Maxiofacial Service a joint working group comprising the Trust, the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and the Public Health Agency (PHA) had been set up,” the Minute reads.

The Trust performance chief also advised that the Trust had received confirmation of additional funding for an additional orthopaedic surgeon to bring the workforce in Trauma and Orthopaedics up to 11 consultants and help ease pressure.

The Trust Board also heard how additional resources were required to pay for more Allied Health Professionals - which include occupational therapists, physios and radiographers.

Alan Corry Finn, the Executive Director of Nursing and the Director of Primary Care and Older People’s Services, said “staff were working extremely hard, however, investment was required to ensure the Trust meets the respective targets.”

In terms of A&E performance, Mrs Molloy said 73 per cent of patients were seen within four hours in April. The target was 75 per cent. However, by June, the Trust position was 94 per cent, which Mrs Molloy described as “excellent.”