Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Orthopaedic Surgery Should Be Offered In Enniskillen - Flanagan

Published: 18 May, 2015


Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has called for the Western Trust to deliver orthopaedic surgery in the South West Acute Hospital to deal with the lengthy waiting list for such surgeries in Fermanagh with more people having to wait over a year for routine orthopaedic surgery in the Western Trust area than anywhere else in the north.


Speaking after he raised the issue in Stormont with the Health Minister, Mr Flanagan said:


"In an effort to reduce waiting times for orthopaedic surgery, the Western Trust allowed a private company to operate within the South West Acute Hospital and actually paid them to carry out surgery on behalf of the trust. In an effort to reduce expenditure, this agreement has now been cancelled.


"However, the waiting times for orthopaedic surgery remain too long, with 24 people in the Western Trust now waiting over a year for routine surgery such as hip or knee replacements and no prediction available as to how many people currently on the waiting list will have to wait longer than a year for their surgery.


"There is clearly space available within the hospital to allow this work to take place. The trust should immediately put in place orthopaedic surgery provision in Enniskillen. At present, they are hiding behind claims that they cannot offer surgery in both Derry and Enniskillen, but this makes no sense.


"I will continue to explore this with clinicians, the trust and with the Health and Social Care Board to get this basic service provided locally and in an effort to reduce the length of time that people have to wait for a routine procedure.


"The result of these lengthy waiting lists is increased pain for patients and increased costs for the health service through growing demand for home help, home adaptations and medication."


Notes to Editors:


Phil Flanagan MLA: To ask the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety what consideration has been given to the Western Health and Social Care Trust providing orthopaedic surgery in the South West Acute Hospital, given the lengthy waiting list and the availability of space following the cessation of the waiting list initiative with 3fivetwo Healthcare.


Jim Wells, Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety: There are no plans at present to provide orthopaedic surgery in the South West Acute Hospital. The Western Health and Social Care Trust is working with the Health and Social Care Board to increase elective orthopaedic activity in the Trust area.


This will initially focus on increasing operating capacity on the Altnagelvin Area Hospital site; it is not possible at this time to provide orthopaedic surgery across two sites. Orthopaedic and fracture outpatient clinics are provided at the South West Acute Hospital.