Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland waiting lists: Rise in people waiting for first outpatient appointment

Women with broken arm Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption There has been a sharp increase on the number of people waiting for their first outpatient appointment in Northern Ireland

There has been a sharp increase on the number of people waiting for their first outpatient appointment in Northern Ireland.

The proportion of people waiting more than nine weeks has also risen sharply.

The Department of Health says the total number of people waiting for a first outpatient appointment at the end of September 2014 was 155,558.

It is a 42.1% (46,082) increase compared to September 2013 (109,476).

The department said that of those patients waiting for a first outpatient appointment at the end of September 2014, 47.3% were waiting more than nine weeks.

This compared with 27.3% of the list at the end of September 2013.

The number of people waiting more than 15 weeks for a first outpatient appointment at the end of September 2014 was 26.6% of the total number waiting.

This compared with 9.9% waiting more than 15 weeks at the end of September 2013.

The 2014/15 ministerial target relating to outpatient waiting times states that from April 2014, at least 80% of patients should wait no longer than nine weeks for a first outpatient appointment, and no patient should wait longer than 15 weeks.

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