Tuesday , December 1 2020

Neurology: 68-week wait for urgent appointments

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The Trust says there is a shortage of neurology consultants across Northern Ireland

The Belfast Health Trust has said that people with an urgent referral to see a neurologist can expect to wait 68 weeks for an appointment.

The wait for a routine first outpatient appointment with a neurologist is 246 weeks.

The trust said "waiting times are much longer than we'd like".

It said across NI there is a shortage of neurology consultants for this "complex" service and "demand is outstripping capacity".

The latest figures follow the review of patient notes related to the work of neurology consultant Dr Michael Watt.

The Trust said it was continuing to liaise with the Health and Social Care Board to find a long term solution to reduce waiting times in the near future.

"The Department of Health has started a review of regional neurology services in September, which is currently under way," the trust added.

"Part of the review will look at opportunities to address the waiting times by building on several initiatives to help improve pathways for people with neurological conditions and those with symptoms suggestive of a neurological condition."

Last month, the Department of Health announced a further 1,044 people will be recalled following a review of 2,500 neurological patients.

It is the largest ever patient recall by the Belfast Health and Social Care (HSC) Trust.

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