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New website allows patients to check waiting times for hospital appointments in NI

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Department of Health launches new online portal for patients to check average waiting times. Getty Images.

Brett Campbell

Thu 25 May 2023 at 16:29

A new website has been launched to allow patients in Northern Ireland to check how long they will have to wait for a specialist hospital appointment.

The online initiative is intended to improve and centralise already publically available information.

My Waiting Times NI allows patients to check the average length of the waiting list for a first outpatients hospital appointment across different clinical specialties in each Health and Social Care Trust.

"Northern Ireland's waiting lists are a result of years of sustained pressure with demand for care and treatment outstripping hospital capacity," a Department of Health spokesperson said.

"Additional funding has been made available in recent years to support a range of waiting list initiatives and we were beginning to see some stabilisation of the situation.

"However the current budget deficit means that this additional investment will be at a lower level this year.

"Regrettably, this will have an impact on waiting times."

The new webpage will be expanded to also provide the latest waiting time information for procedures, treatment and diagnostics.

The departmental spokesperson said officials are "acutely aware of the consequences of waiting times" for patients and their families.

"We also recognise the additional frustration when people do not have easily accessible information on how long they will have to wait," they added.

"This new webpage should provide some clarity to patients, their families and carers.

"GPs and other primary care teams, such as dentists and pharmacists, will also have access to the information which should help them have more informed conversations with their patients."

The online portal, which can be found here, will be updated on the first Thursday of each month with the latest waiting time information.

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