The Referral Process
NOHC is Ireland’s largest elective orthopaedic surgical centre. The Hospitals’ 37 Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons provide treatments for a broad range of conditions.
A Surgeon can specialise in a particular area of the body (e.g. the lower limb, upper limb, spine), disease (e.g. bone and soft tissue tumours) or age group (e.g. paediatric, adult or geriatric patients), and some Consultants have multiple specialties.
General Practitioners and other Hospital Consultants can refer patients using the Healthlink secure messaging platform. We accept open referrals (Dear Doctor) and named referrals for specific Consultants.
Open or “Dear Doctor” referrals are assigned to the shortest waiting list and receive the earliest possible appointment.
If you are referred to a specific Consultant, then your waiting period is determined by that Consultant’s waiting list. Consultants with multiple specialties may have longer waiting lists.
As an elective surgical centre, surgical procedures are planned in advance and rarely cancelled. Several factors can determine your date for surgery. These include:
Delays in obtaining specialist equipment (e.g. prosthesis) and securing specialist services (e.g. spinal cord monitoring) can prolong the waiting period.
Complex Procedures and Underlying Health Conditions
Patients undergoing complex surgical procedures and those with underlying medical conditions often require postoperative care in the Higher Dependency Unit (HDU). HDU beds at the Hospital are limited. Where possible, the medical team will anticipate the need for a HDU bed. If a HDU bed is not available, you may experience a delay.
If you test positive for COVID-19, we will defer your surgery for seven weeks from the testing date to ensure your safety and well-being. However, if you continue to experience symptoms after seven weeks, please get in touch with the Hospital for advice.
We often request medical records from your GP, another Consultant or Hospital. This information is relevant to your treatment; we cannot proceed to surgery without it. Unfortunately, delays in obtaining files can increase waiting times.
The Preoperative Assessment Clinic (PAC) assesses your suitability for surgery. If you have an infection, underlying health condition or high Body Mass Index (BMI), you may not be suitable for surgery at this time. In this event, PAC will defer surgery, recommending health improvements, investigations or procedures to reduce your surgical risk.
Your safety is our priority. Once medical information gathering is complete and your surgical risk, peri-operative requirements, and postoperative care have been thoroughly assessed, you will receive a date for surgery.