Worried and waiting: A review of paediatric waiting times in Northern Ireland 2024

Our report, published April 2024, provides an analysis of paediatric outpatient waiting lists in Northern Ireland from 2016 to 2023. There is a large and growing number of children on paediatric outpatient waiting lists in NI. RCPCH highlights this worrying trajectory and makes policy recommendations to help ensure children receive care in a timely manner and within the right service.

We thank the children and young people in both Paediatric Outpatient Clinics and school settings in Northern Ireland who provided their experience and insight, which is integral to the report's recommendations.

Worried and Waiting outlines three key recommendations:

  • A whole child approach to service configuration – Deliver a full review of the child health system in NI and ensure the Regional Integrated Care System places the needs of children at the fore.
  • Workforce – Develop a child health workforce strategy and ensure future planning is a key tenet throughout the strategy.
  • Data – Improve and enhance the collection of child health data in NI enabling the Child Health Partnership to identify and bridge data gaps. Utilise enhanced data to understand trends for planning child health services.

The upward trajectory of outpatient waiting times for paediatrics has continued to increase year on year since 2016, reaching an all-time high in 2023. This is unsustainable and real systemic change is needed to turn this curve.

Dr Ray Nethercott, RCPCH Officer for Ireland

Read report here or download below