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Irish Child Health Database - Peer Reviewed Papers

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  • Tackling a long waiting list in a child and adolescent mental health service

    Published in:

    Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, Vol: 23, Page: 103-106,MedMedia

    Publication Date:


    Aims & Objectives:

    The aim of this study was to decrease a waiting list from a maximum wait of more than one year to a wait of no more than six weeks


    Objective: Long waiting lists have a negative impact on client satisfaction, staff moral and referrer's opinion of the service. The aim of this project was to decrease a waiting list from a maximum wait of more than one year to a wait of no more than six weeks. Method: We introduced three simultaneous initiatives to decrease a long waiting list; (i) an individually led triage system (ii) setting-up an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) specialist team and (iii) division of the residual waiting list between team members. These initiatives were introduced and analysed over a ten month period. The study period ran from 1/3/2004 to 31/12/2004. Results: The waiting time to first appointment was significantly reduced. At the beginning of the study there were 62 people waiting to be seen and each had waited an average of 122 days with a waiting time range of 0-449 days. At the end of the study, there were 19 people waiting with a mean waiting time of 19 days and a range of 0-168 days. Conclusions: The single most powerful intervention was the triage system. The ADHD clinic allowed referrals to be streamlined in a very structured and efficient way. The division of the residual waiting list was not as onerous as it first appeared. The service saw more referrals then ever during the study period. Referrers and families appreciated being seen more quickly. By removing the burden of the waiting list from staff the potential for creative thinking around further development of the service increased. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved) (from the journal abstract)


    Gordon Lynch; Elma Hedderman

    Study Type:

    Study Papers » Case Study » Descriptive Studies - Without a comparision


    0790-9667 Accession Number: 2006-12476-006. First Author & Affiliation: Lynch, Gordon; C&A Analytic Psychotherapy, Athy Child Guidance Clinic, Athy, Ireland. Other Journal Title: Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine. Release Date: 20061023. Publication Type: Journal, (0100) Peer Reviewed Journal, (0110). Media Covered: Print. Media Available: Print. Document Type: Journal Article. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Client Satisfaction; Health Care Delivery; Mental Health Services; Professional Referral; Treatment Barriers. Minor Descriptor: Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity; Health Personnel Attitudes; Morale. Classification: Health & Mental Health Services (3370) Developmental Disorders & Autism (3250) . Population: Human (10) Male (30) Female (40) . Location: Ireland. Age Group: Childhood (birth-12 yrs) (100) Adolescence (13-17 yrs) (200) . Tests & Measures: Conners' Parent and Teacher Rating Scales; Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire; . Methodology: Empirical Study; Longitudinal Study; Quantitative Study. References Available: Y.


    waiting list

    International Classification:

    Health service provision



    Republic of Ireland (South county Kildare)