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Eight-month orthopaedic surgery wait 'unacceptable'

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A WAIT of up to eight months for orthopaedic operations is not acceptable, Health & Social Care has said, as it assured it was investing in improvements.

The committee was commenting after the Medical Specialist Group confirmed the waiting times for orthopaedic surgery were in breach of its contract.

Patients face an average three-month wait, but those needing lower limb procedures have to wait around eight months.

MSG's contractual waiting time is eight weeks and questions have been raised about what penalties are in place if it fails to meet those.

A HSC spokesman confirmed there were no penalties under the existing contract, which runs out at the end of this year.

However, penalties had been considered while negotiating the new contact with MSG.

The yet-to-be-signed contract would include mechanisms for addressing key performance indicators that fell out of range.

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