Neurology: 68-week wait for urgent appointments

Neurology graphic Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The trust says there is a shortage of neurology consultants across Northern Ireland

The Belfast Health Trust has said people with an urgent referral to see a neurologist can expect to wait 68 weeks for an appointment.

The wait for a routine first outpatient appointment with a neurologist is 246 weeks.

The trust said “waiting times are much longer than we would like”.

It said across NI there is a shortage of neurology consultants for this “complex” service and “demand is outstripping capacity”.

The latest figures follow a review of patient notes relating to the work of neurology consultant Dr Michael Watt.

The trust said it was continuing to liaise with the Health and Social Care Board “to find a long term solution to reducing waiting times in the near future”.

“The Department of Health began a review of regional neurology services in September which is currently under way,” the trust added.

“Part of the review will look at opportunities to address waiting times by building on several initiatives to help improve the pathways for people with neurological conditions and those referred with symptoms suggestive of a neurological condition.”

Last month, the Department of Health announced a further 1,044 people will be recalled following a review of 2,500 neurology patients.

It is the biggest ever patient recall by the Belfast Health and Social Care (HSC) Trust.

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