GHA launches ‘waiting list strategy’
The GHA has introduced a waiting list strategy as a core element of its Reset, Restart, Recover programme for post-pandemic reform, highlighting areas where significant improvement has already been achieved.
“The strategy outlines the framework to ensure the GHA effectively addresses the backlog impact from the pandemic and manages patient waiting lists going forward through ensuring timely and efficient delivery of healthcare services,” the GHA said.
“It is based on the principles and best practices followed by the UK tailored to the unique needs of Gibraltar.”
The strategy aims to improve patient experience; optimise resource allocation; minimise waiting times for appointments; and ensure clinical treatment and procedures are prioritised according to clinical need.
A copy of the strategy can be found of the GHA website under Key Documents - Gibraltar Health Authority (gha.gi).
The GHA said it intends to evaluate, review, and update progress against the strategy at least every 24 months.
It highlighted areas where improvements have already been achieved, adding: “The GHA will continue to work to increase the number of appointments and procedures either within available resources or specifically funded initiatives until the system is fully stabilised and running optimally.”
The GHA published data on its waiting lists comparing the median average waiting time in January 2023 in comparison to the median average waiting time at the end of August 2023.
For the hip and knee clinic appointment, the waiting time was reduced from 96 weeks in January to seven weeks in August.
Orthopaedic surgeries also saw a reduction in waiting times from 40 weeks to eight weeks.
For urgent endoscopy procedures, the waiting time was reduced from nine weeks to two weeks, and for routine endoscopy checks from 34 weeks to six weeks.
Furthermore, for ultrasounds the waiting time was reduced from 11 weeks to eight weeks, and for special needs paediatric dental services, it was reduced from 79 weeks to nine weeks.
The GHA Director General, Professor Patrick Geoghegan, said: “This is a real success story resulting in patients being able to see a clinician when and where they need to.”
“This could be a doctor, nurse, dentist, therapist, midwife, or other member of a clinical team.”
“We recognise that we may not have caught up for everybody, and that systems are not always perfect, but we are confident in the coming months you will see even further improvements.”