An initiative that eliminated a waiting list for care that had stretched up to 18 months was the winner of the Innovation in Service Delivery Award at the recent HSE Health Service Excellence Awards.
The Community Paediatric Ophthalmology waiting list initiative at the Grangegorman Primary Care Centre saw over 2,700 children on the list screened in just three weeks.
Dr Duncan Rogers, Consultant Lead for the Grangegorman Community Ophthalmologist Service, explained: “The reason that we took up this initiative was that for over the last five years, the Grangegorman Service had a waiting list of between two and a half and three and a half thousand children waiting an average of 18 months. This was a real issue as within the context of children’s vision we have around a two-year period where we can intervene and stop blindness. So an 18-month average wait was something that we couldn’t continue with,” he said.
“The initiative itself was, in essence, a secondary re-screen of the entire waiting list and was only made possible by previous work done by the team I had come into, integration with the Directors of Public Health nursing and the full support of management within CHO9 - Tom Flynn, Director of Primary Care Services, Michelle Ford, general manager, Annette Murphy, area manager, and her assistant Cathy Eccles.”
He said that the team saw 2,782 children over a three-week period.
“I am delighted to say that one year on, we still do not have a waiting list. And this means that referrals are seen within six weeks if they are urgent and 12 weeks if they are routine. The amount of clinical time that has been released from the lack of waiting list has allowed us to now run, to my knowledge, the only additional needs children’s ophthalmology clinic in the community in Ireland. Furthermore, we have been able to train our optometrist and orthoptist into expanded roles, which is going to help our tertiary services by removing some of the burden of care they currently have,” said Dr Rogers.