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Rising gynaecological waiting lists a ‘major concern’ at Rotunda

There are over 3,400 women on gynaecology waiting lists at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, with the increasing lists representing a “major concern”.

A meeting of the Rotunda’s board in September heard that gynaecology waiting lists “continue to increase” and the issue was recorded on the hospital’s corporate risk register.

“Referrals have increased by 21 per cent from the prior year and continue to rise,” according to the meeting minutes. “The primary issue driving increased lists is that referrals far exceeds capacity on a monthly basis. An additional concern regarding routine patients being moved further down the lists as more urgent referrals receive priority. Gynaecology OPD clinics and colposcopy clinics are to be extended into evening sessions.”

It was further noted that about 20 per cent of patients seen in outpatients clinics would require admission to theatre.

However, the hospital was “challenged” with theatre capacity and there were “constraints” in accessing theatre. “There will not be additional theatre facilities available until the new theatre build is complete at the end of 2020. A formal proposal to build and resource an ambulatory gynaecology unit has been submitted to the NWIHP/RCSI HG [HSE National Women and Infants Health Programme/RCSI Hospitals Group].”

“Thirty-three per cent of all gynaecology referrals are urgent, but if triaged as urgent, they will receive an appointment within eight-to-12 weeks,” a Rotunda spokesperson told the Medical Independent.

“Measures in train are increasing capacity including new consultant appointments, building additional theatre capacity, additional clinics, evening clinics, GP-led Saturday clinics and additional capacity created in Connolly Hospital.”

The medium-term plan is development and resourcing of an ambulatory gynaecology unit, they added.

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