The chief executive of the agency which arranges treatment for public patients awaiting surgery has criticised Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin for not fully engaging with the scheme.

Our Lady's has meanwhile claimed that the National Treatment Purchase Fund had placed limits on the hospital last year.

Pat O'Byrne, from the National Treatment Purchase Fund, said he is unhappy with the level of engagement from the hospital, which he described as 'patchy to say the least'.

Speaking at the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee, Mr O’Byrne said there are almost 1,000 patients waiting more than three months for procedures at Crumlin.

He also said that in a small percentage of cases, consultants were treating patients under the NTPF who were also on the consultant's own public waiting list.

He said the number of such cases amounted to 1.6% of all NTPF activity.

The committee also heard that there are 2,700 children who have been waiting for more than three months for surgical procedures.

Out of the total, 230 have been waiting for treatment for more than a year.

In a statement released this afternoon, Our Lady's said that the National Treatment Purchase Fund placed a limit of 450 patient treatment slots for the hospital in 2009.

'Our Lady's can confirm that as a result 450 patients were treated under the NTPF scheme in 2009.

'Our Lady's Children’s Hospital, Crumlin remains committed to working with the NTPF to assist in reducing waiting lists at the hospital,' it concluded.