The average waiting time for a first appointment for Manx Care services has gone up in two thirds of specialities compared to this time last year.

Some people are waiting over three years for a first appointment, according to a Freedom of Information response.

In some specialities, including physiotherapy and podiatry, people are now waiting as long as three years for their first appointment.

The response gives comparative figures from May 25, 2021 versus May 25, 2022.

In 2021, the wait time for a first appointment in the child and adolescent psychiatry speciality was 123 days. It is now 488 days.

For oral surgery it was 401 days, and is now 510 days.

For restorative dentistry it was 445 days, and is now 810.

The physiotherapy wait has sky rocketed from over two years at 786 days to over three years at 1,151 days, as has the podiatry wait, which has risen from 761 days to 1,126 days.

The biggest rise is in geriatric medicine, which has gone up by around 2,000%.

The wait time last year for a first appointment was only 19 days. It is now 384 days.

Health and Social Care Minister Lawrie Hooper spoke to Manx Radio, responding to the figures.

He said: ‘In terms of waiting times, we know they’ve gone up across the board. That’s inevitable I think with the pandemic.

‘Manx Care have a restoration and recovery programme, they’ve started phase one of that. They’re working on plans in conjunction with the Department of Health right now to do a phase two rollout which will be significantly enhanced.

‘We are putting a business case together to go to Treasury and explain this and actually talk about how we can fund it, and if all that gets approved, then we will be announcing that in due course.

‘But there are definitely plans in place to bring those waiting lists down.

‘The key question for Manx Care isn’t just “can you tackle the high waiting lists we have now”, it’s “what are you going to do next to stop those waiting lists get back up to those levels?”

‘And again, Manx Care have got longer term plans for how we change delivery of services to make sure that the waiting lists we have now very much become an anomaly, are dealt with, and we don’t see them again two, three, four, five years’ time.’

The restoration and recovery programme has already seen a number of waiting lists begin to be tackled.

In a number of specialities, Manx Care has outsourced to other healthcare providers who are seeing and treating some patients on its behalf.

Work which is carried out by partner healthcare providers on behalf of Manx Care as part of its elective restoration and recovery programme is not replacing the delivery of activity at either Noble’s Hospital or Ramsey District Cottage Hospital – instead, this work merely supplements existing activity being performed, increasing capacity.