Quarterly statistics on waiting times for hospital admissions for inpatient and day case treatment.

The latest statistics published cover up to the end of March 2017. Data has been published by Department of Health.

Total Number Waiting

The total number of patients waiting includes all inpatients and day case patients waiting to be admitted to hospital for any length of time. It therefore includes patients who have been waiting for one day, as well as any waiting for a number of weeks or months. See definitions.

Waiting Times - Specialties

Numbers and percentages of patients waiting by Specialty (clinical area), by different timebands. There may be differences in coverage of certain timebands over the full length of available data. (See definitions).

Note that as some timebands cover all patients waiting over a certain number of weeks (e.g. '9 weeks and over' and '18 weeks and over'), the sum of these will result in double counting of a number of patients.

Select a clinical specialty from the menu below.

Performance Profiles

‘By March 2017, 55% of patients should wait no longer than 13 weeks for inpatient/day case treatment; with no patient waiting longer than 52 weeks.'

Performance is measured in two ways:

  • 13 week performance: Percent of the total number of patients waiting who have been waiting over 13 weeks. Target: Below 45%
  • 52 week performance: Number of patients waiting longer than 52 weeks. Target: Zero

The table below shows the performance of inpatient waiting times. These measure the progress towards achieving the Ministerial Target by March 2017.

Performance profiles are included for all inpatient waiters, in health trust groupings and by some clinical specialties.

The quarterly data covers April 2015 to end December 2016. However, figures for patients waiting over 52 weeks started to be collected only from April 2016.

Inpatient Grouping Percent over 13 weeks Number over 52 weeks
All Trusts
Belfast
Northern
South Eastern
Southern
Western
T&O Surgery
General Surgery
Urology
ENT
Gynaecology
Pain Management
Ophthalmology
Gastroenterology
Plastic Surgery
Cardiology
General Medicine
Paediatric Surgery
Oral Surgery
Cardiac Surgery
Paediatrics
Dermatology
Anaesthetics
Due to large number of different specialties, we have chosen to show those with the highest number of patients to keep this list brief.

Data Notes and Definitions

For more detailed and additional information please see DoH Inpatient Waiting Times Documentation .

Admissions

A patient admitted electively during the course of a day with the intention of receiving care who do not require the use of a hospital bed overnight and who return home as scheduled. If this original intention is not fulfilled and the patient stays overnight, such a patient is counted as an inpatient admission.

Inpatients

Inpatient admissions include both:

  • (a) patients admitted electively with the expectation that they will remain in hospital for at least one night; and,
  • (b) non-elective admissions (e.g. emergency admissions).

A patient who is admitted with either of the above intentions, but who leaves hospital for any reason without staying overnight, is still counted as an inpatient admission. Day cases are not included.

Day case

A patient admitted electively during the course of a day with the intention of receiving care who do not require the use of a hospital bed overnight and who return home as scheduled. If this original intention is not fulfilled and the patient stays overnight, such a patient is counted as an inpatient admission.

Waiting times

Inpatient and day case waiting times begin from the date the clinician decided to admit the patient. Patients who cannot attend (CNA) have their waiting time adjusted to commence on the date they informed the HSC Trust they could not attend, while patients who do not attend (DNA) have their waiting time adjusted to commence on the date of the DNA.

Timebands

Each inpatient and day case waiting timeband relates to the number of completed weeks a patient has been waiting for admission for treatment. For example, a patient waiting exactly 6 weeks would be included in the 0-6 week timeband and a patient waiting 6 weeks and 1 day would be included in the >6-13 (greater than 6 weeks but waiting no longer than 13 weeks) week timeband. Not all timebands have available data for the full length of the period covered. For example, the number of patients waiting over 52 weeks started to be measured only since the quarter ending June 2016; the number waiting over 18 weeks has been measured since the quarter ending June 2011; the number waiting 0-6 weeks has been measured for the full length (since the quarter ending June 2008).

Specialties

A specialty is a particular branch of medicine or surgery. Each consultant is assigned a main specialty from a list recognised by the Royal Colleges and Faculties. Information is recorded against the specialty of the treating consultant.

Exclusions

The waiting list figures include people waiting to be admitted either as day cases or inpatient admissions. They do not include:

  • Patients admitted as emergency cases
  • Outpatients
  • Patients undergoing a planned programme of treatment e.g. a series of admissions for chemotherapy
  • Patients waiting for admission as a regular day or night attender
  • Maternity (specialties 510 and 520)
  • Patients currently receiving inpatient treatment in hospitals who are included on other waiting lists
  • Patients who are temporarily suspended from waiting lists
Revisions

We use the most recent quarterly datasets that the Department of Health publish for secondary analysis. These will include any revisied figures from previous published data that may be present.

Data providers

Department of Health Hospital Information Branch source data form the DoH Inpatient Waiting Times Dataset, the Hospital Inpatient System and the Departmental IS1 Part 2 Return provided by the HSC Board.