Monday August 31, 2015
Most of you will be aware that the DHB is set waiting time targets by the Ministry of Health, with which it must comply. All referrals that meet the threshold for a specialist appointment must be seen within four months. Patients who then require a treatment e.g. operation, must have it performed within four months of being declared fit for surgery. Fitness for surgery is determined at pre-assessment clinic.
In order to make the waiting times as short as possible the DHB is attempting to develop a system whereby patients are sent straight to pre-assessment clinic from the surgical outpatients i.e. on the day the decision is taken to operate. That is not always possible though and so many patients need to come back at a later date. The DHB aims to have all patients seen in pre-assessment clinic within two weeks of the decision to treat. It is possible for some patients to have their pre-assessment clinic appointment performed over the phone.
When patients are asking you when they should expect their surgery to be scheduled you should advise them that it is four months from the pre-assessment clinic where they are told they are fit enough for surgery.