In April 2022, an investigation commenced into the communications provided to patients and/or their carers following placement on a waiting list in Northern Ireland.
The primary focus of the investigation is the adequacy of Trust communications to patients, and/or their carers, across various stages of the waiting list process, with significant consideration being given to the content of the Integrated Elected Access Protocol (Department of Health guidance), and its application by the Trusts.
The objective was to determine whether or not systemic maladministration has arisen within the communication practices of the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Trusts (the Trusts) and whether improvements are required. It also aims to publicise what patients and/or their carers should expect from waiting list communications.
The Investigative Methodology drew evidence from a wide range of sources. This included extensive queries and information requests to the Trusts and the Department; a General Public survey (with 646 responses); a General Practitioner (GP) survey (with 321 responses); follow up interviews with a number of General Public and GP survey respondents; and a number of Case Study reviews.