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Hospital Operating Theatre ‘inefficiency’ wasting million

24 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Upper Bann MLA John O'Dowd, who is the Chairperson of the powerful Assembly Public Accounts Committee has said that the inefficient use of hospital operating theatres is wasting millions.

Speaking after the publication of a PAC report into the 'Use of Operating Theatres' Mr O'Dowd said:

"The Committee recognises and welcomes the significant improvement in waiting lists and waiting times. Despite this, there is potential for further improvement as planned theatre sessions still only account for 64% of actual theatre capacity.

"We still have a 5% cancellation figure that transfers over to £6.5m lost every year due to cancellations.

"The PAC accepts that there will be cancellations in the service, but we have pointed to the fact that a new computer system that should have been in place in early 2007 won't be in place until the end of this year.

"There needs also to be a use in terms of bookings of theatres to ensure that patients who are booked in are fit and ready for their operations." ENDS

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