£700m roadmap unveiled to tackle waiting lists and “restore hope” in Northern Ireland

£700m roadmap unveiled to tackle waiting lists and “restore hope” in Northern Ireland

Health Minister Robin SwannHealth Minister Robin Swann has actually introduced a new Elective Care Framework for Northern Ireland, setting out a comprehensive roadmap for tackling healthcare facility waiting lists and to “restore hope” for individuals awaiting care.

The framework proposes a ₤ 700 million investment over five years. It sets out a twin-track technique of investment and reform– targeted financial investment to get much more people dealt with as quickly as possible, plus reform and investment to get rid of the gap between demand and capacity and ensure stockpiles do not keep re-occurring

This structure consists of a variety of short-term, longer-term and medium-term actions.

It makes clear that the waiting list crisis has actually been developing for 7 years and has actually been seriously intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. It adds that there are “no quick repairs” to the situation.

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” The strategies include essential and sustained financial investment in constructing up the in-house capability of our health service.”

” For example, there are currently almost 190,000 patients waiting more than a year for their first outpatient consultation. This is almost 5 times as numerous as when the abortive 2017 Elective Care Plan was released.

Robin commented: “I desire long waits to have actually been completely banished by March 2026. The Framework sets a target for March 2026 of no client waiting more than 52 weeks for a very first outpatient visit and inpatient/day case treatment; or 26 weeks for a diagnostics appointment.

” If we can bring forward this timeline we will certainly do so, but we have to acknowledge the scale of the issue that has built up and the capacity restrictions that will restrict our space for manoeuvre.

” Investment and reform are now both required– targeted investment to get a lot more people treated as rapidly as possible; reform to guarantee the long-lasting problems of capacity and productivity are appropriately attended to.”

For additional information, read the Elective Care Framework completely here.

” Up till 2014, the gap was handled through in year financing injections to facilitate extra activity,” he added. “Those cash have remained in much shorter supply ever since and waiting times have actually climbed up relentlessly as a result.

The plans detailed in the new structure document consist of: implementation of “green pathways” with every effort made to keep chosen care services entirely separate from any exposure to COVID-19; expansion of the elective care centre model with surgeries provided in ring fenced expert hubs; a relentless regional NI-wide approach instead of a disjointed postcode lottery system; shipment of mega-clinics for outpatient, evaluation and pre-operative evaluation clinics; improved data, reporting and accountability; continued focus on efficiency management; ongoing close cooperation with the independent sector; advancement of in-house HSC capacity consisting of continued financial investment in staffing and use of temporary, boosted rates for targeted shifts.

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Previously, Robin had referred to the waiting lists in Northern Ireland as “dire” and pledged to repair them, after December 2020 statistics revealed that 81.7 percent of clients were waiting longer than 13 weeks for day-case or inpatient treatment.


The health minister laid out that if the waiting list situation is not removed, then backlogs in care will continue to occur.