Targets and waiting times for hospital appointments and the Isle of Man Ambulance Service have today been published by the Department of Health and Social Care, fulfilling a commitment within Delivering the Programme for Government, which was unanimously approved by Tynwald only this week.
The DHSC made a commitment to review NHS waiting times and targets in the UK, establish appropriate Manx targets, and then monitor and publish performance data, as part of its 2016/17 Service Delivery Plan, the first phase of delivering its five year strategy.
Minister for Health and Social Care, Kate Beecroft MHK, said:
“This is a watershed moment for health services in the Isle of Man. For the first time the Department is making waiting times readily available and we will update the figures four times a year. In addition we have introduced targets against which the Department’s performance can be measured.
“I want people who are waiting for both outpatient and inpatient appointments to know how long they may have to wait, although times can vary depending on how urgent a referral is.
“The Department is being completely open and transparent about waiting times. We are already doing well in some areas, for example: children needing ear, nose or throat surgery are all treated within six months; and the number of people with suspected cancer being seen within two weeks has improved considerably. It is clear that we need to do better in some other specialty areas, and the Department is examining ways it can reduce waiting times to make sure people are seen more quickly. This has to be achieved, however, in very challenging financial circumstances, with the Department needing to reduce costs by £10 million in the current financial year just to come in on budget.”
The DHSC plans to publish additional waiting time information and targets in the coming months to include areas such as diagnostic tests and mental health services. The aim is to publish data around six weeks after the end of each financial quarter, with the next update due in May 2017. Future updates will provide details of why particular waiting times have improved or worsened, as well as details on initiatives being undertaken to reduce waiting times.
Full details can be found online at Waiting Times.