Hip Replacements

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Alasdair McDonnell Alasdair McDonnell Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow Spokesperson (Education), Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average waiting time for a patient requiring a hip replacement following a GP referral for (a) assessment and (b) hip replacement surgery in Northern Ireland was in the last period for which figures are available.

Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Northern Ireland Office

Currently, Musgrave Park hospital and Altnagelvin Area hospital are the only hospitals in Northern Ireland that routinely admit elective patients for hip replacement surgery.

(a) The average waiting time at Musgrave Park hospital, for a patient requiring a hip replacement following a GP referral for assessment, at the 31 December 2006 was 160 days.

At Altnagelvin Area hospital outpatient assessments are recorded by specialty rather than condition. In the case of hip replacements, Altnagelvin Area hospital record these assessments under the trauma and orthopaedics specialty. This specialty will include a number of orthopaedic conditions affecting, for example, shoulders, knees, ankles etc. It is therefore not possible to calculate the average waiting time specifically for a hip replacement assessment at Altnagelvin Area hospital. Altnagelvin Area hospital is able to say that 91 per cent. of patients waiting under the trauma and orthopaedic specialty were waiting eight months or less at 31 December 2006.

(b) The average waiting time at Musgrave Park hospital, for a patient requiring a hip replacement surgery following a referral, at 31 December 2006 was 94 days.

The average waiting time at Altnagelvin Area hospital, for a patient requiring a hip replacement surgery following a referral, at the 31 December 2006 was approximately seven months.

I have set targets to ensure that no patient waits longer than 26 weeks for a first outpatient appointment by 31 March 2007, reducing to 13 weeks by March 2008, and no longer than six months for surgery by 31 March 2007, reducing to 21 weeks by March 2008.

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