§ Mr. Mallon
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the average waiting period for patients needing hip replacement treatment, at each hospital where this operation is provided; and what steps are being taken to reduce the waiting period.
§ Mr. Moss
It is not possible to provide an average waiting period for patients still waiting for treatment. It is usual instead to refer to median waiting times, which indicate the length of time the middle person on the list has been waiting. This information is not available for the specific procedure of hip replacement but it is available for the speciality of trauma and orthopaedics and is as follows:
Hospital Median Waiting Time. Months Altnagelvin 3–5 Belfast City 6–8 Musgrave Park 3–5 Ulster 0–2
A total of £10 million was made available last year spread over three years to reduce waiting lists in all specialities. As a result, the number waiting more than 18 months in the trauma and orthopaedics speciality has reduced from 367 in September 1993 to 84 in September 1994, and we expect no patient to have to wait more than 18 months by 1 April 1995.