New strategy helps reduce surgery waiting lists by as much as ten times at Gibraltar hospital

A NEW Gibraltar hospital strategy slashed waiting list times by 89 weeks for knee and hip replacements and by 32 weeks for orthopaedic surgery.

Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) Director General Patrick Geoghegan hailed the ‘real success story’ of ‘patients being able to see a clinician when and where they need to’ in a statement.

The GHA said the Waiting List Strategy was ‘a core element’ of the Reset, Restart, Recover’ programme after the pandemic, as it tried to work throught the backlog of operations postponed because of COVID-19.

It used ‘principles and best practices’ borrowed from the UK’s NHS to shorten surgery waiting times.

It means hip and knee replacements now take seven weeks instead of the 96 weeks in January and orthopaedic surgery eight weeks rather than the previous 40 weeks.

The strategy also shortened special needs paediatric dental work to nine weeks from a year and a half, urgent endoscopy to two weeks and ultrasound to eight weeks.

The GHA added: “The strategy aims to improve improve patient experience, optimise resource allocation, minimise waiting times for appointments, and ensure treatment and procedures are prioritised according to clinical need.”

It will now evaluate, review and update the strategy every 24 weeks.

A recent addition of a new operating theatre at St Bernard’s Hospital, more modern equipment and UK partnerships have helped lower waiting times.

“We recognise that we may not have caught up for everybody, and that systems are not always perfect,” said Geoghegan, who will leave the post in October.

“But we are confident in the coming months you will see even further improvements,” he added.


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