herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Women waiting up to a year for appointments at Rotunda

Around 3,000 women are waiting for a routine gynaecology appointment at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin.

The hospital may be best known for delivering babies, but it also delivers a comprehensive gynaecology service to Dublin women.

This is the clinical area that focuses on the health of women's reproductive systems.

Experts at the hospital offer a comprehensive range of services for the investigation and treatment of gynaecological conditions including endometriosis, a condition in which small pieces of the womb lining are found outside it.

According to the hospital, all patient referrals are triaged at three different times each week and subsequently graded as urgent or routine.

Urgent appointments are prioritised and are currently seen within 12 weeks - depending on the level of urgency.

Routine patient appointments are currently taking up to 52 weeks to be seen following triage.

Capacity

The Rotunda has a capacity for 63 new gynaecology patient referrals each week. However, it is currently receiving up to 120 referrals, according to a spokesperson.

In addition to new patients, the hospital also sees around 100 patients a week who are being reviewed, according to the Irish Medical News.

It emerged recently that a total of 47 babies were delivered in one 24-hour period at the busy Rotunda last year,

The hospital has noted that the increase in demand for maternity services has "reduced the hospital's ability to manage routine gynaecology procedures within acceptable time frames".

In a previous interview with the Herald, the master of the Rotunda, Dr Sam Coulter-Smith said: "In terms of the infrastructure, we are still looking after patients in buildings that were constructed in the 1750s, the old Nightingale-style post-natal wards."

The older parts of the hospital are not designed for modern clinical care, he said.

"We are lucky that over the years we have developed a new emergency room, a new labour ward, we have developed new theatres," he added.

fdillon@herald.ie

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