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Some 600 patients who ‘did not attend’ (DNA) appointments were removed from the Rotunda Hospital’s gynaecology waiting list following a “validation” exercise. Removal of DNA patients was queried at a hospital board meeting in November 2020. “The process for patients who do not arrive for scheduled appointments was outlined. Both the GP and the patient are notified,” according to meeting minutes.
A Rotunda spokesperson told the Medical Independent that the hospital follows national policy for validation, communication, and removal of patients from waiting lists.
“We utilise the NTPF [National Treatment Purchase Fund] for managing this process and in addition all removals are also communicated to referring GPs.”
As of December 2020, there were over 3,000 patients on the hospital’s gynaecology outpatient waiting list. Some 30 per cent were classified as urgent referrals, who are seen within 12 weeks, according to the hospital.
Asked if long waiting lists in gynaecology had led to an increase in the stage of disease at diagnosis, the Rotunda’s spokesperson said: “No, but this is an inherent risk of long waiting lists with 70 per cent initially categorised as routine.” The hospital had additional protocols for reviewing long waiters and re-triaging following consultant-led review, according to its spokesperson.
The Rotunda also confirmed that a new ambulatory gynaecology unit is due to open this month.