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Some 400 GP referral letters are received on a monthly basis, according to minutes of a Board meeting in April. The Board discussed a number of reasons for the level of demand, including that the Mater University Hospital was only accepting gynaecology oncology referrals and that referral letters were sent to more than one hospital. “Additionally, waiting list referrals have to be capped by Rotunda consultants due to the risks involved caused by the lack of available theatre capacity on-site and at Connolly,” stated the minutes.
A “validation exercise” of waiting lists was underway internally and in collaboration with RCSI Hospitals Group, outlined the minutes. “A YTD [year-to-date] three-month comparative analysis with 2017 will also be undertaken. Another contributory factor is a 20 per cent DNA [did not attend] rate, with a parallel review underway to determine the reasons for outpatient non-attendance.”
A proposal was sent to RCSI Hospitals, which suggested a north Dublin central hub for triaging gynaecology referrals. It would be based in the Rotunda and serviced by a Rotunda consultant, with funding for two full-time administrators also required. However, the proposal had not been accepted by the Group for 2018, stated the minutes.
A spokesperson for the Rotunda told the Medical Independent (MI): “The referrals received by the hospital span the full range of benign gynaecology. In order to meet the increased number of referrals, the number of patients seen in gynaecology clinics has been increased. The hospital is collaborating with Connolly Hospital to increase outpatient and surgical capacity. In relation to the 20 per cent DNA rate, the hospital issues extensive reminders to patients in the days before each visit.”
The spokesperson said the Rotunda could not provide a comment in relation to the decision of RCSI Hospitals Group.