Over 230 children are still waiting for scoliosis surgery at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Dublin, to treat an abnormal curvature of the spine, according to new figures.

The hospital is to refer patients to private hospitals here and more patients to the UK in an effort to reduce the waiting list.

There were 235 patients on the scoliosis waiting list, up to 14 July.

The hospital has performed 110 operations this year and an extra theatre was recently opened to boost capacity.

Four patients have already been referred to The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore in the UK and two of these have had their operation.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Doctors from Stanmore visited Crumlin this week to discuss the plans and review cases that may be suitable for referral there.

Theatre capacity at Crumlin for spinal surgery will increase from two days a week, to three days a week from next Monday.

Another surgeon is also to start working at the hospital in early September to help reduce the waiting list.

Crumlin insists it will meet the HSE target of not having any patients waiting longer than four months for a scoliosis operation by the end of the year.

Eilish Hardiman, chief executive of the Children's Hospital Group, said a tender to outsource cases to other hospitals will conclude next week and those operations will start in September.

She said that they were working on determining which are the best hospitals for children to be treated.

Gary Kelly, 5, on waiting list since February 2016

Vicky Kelly's son Gary is five years of age and has been on the waiting list for his scoliosis operation since February 2016.

Gary also has mild autism and is a wheelchair user. The family live in Athy, Co Kildare.

Gary was in a plaster cast from six months of age until 2016.

Mrs Kelly said that because of the delay in surgery, other things can not be done to help him walk.

He also needs botox in both legs.

The last letter from Crumlin said they hoped to do the surgery over the summer.

Following queries from RTÉ News on the case this week, the hospital said Gary is now scheduled for an outpatient review by an orthopaedic consultant and more X-rays in early September.

The hospital said Gary is on the inpatient waiting list for surgery and is awaiting an admission date for the procedure.

The hospital said it does not normally comment on individual cases but had contacted the Kelly family which has given permission to comment.

In a statement, Crumlin said it regrets that children are still waiting for their individual plan for surgery.

The hospital said it wanted to reassure parents that it is developing a care plan for each of the scoliosis patients on the inpatient waiting list.

Crumlin said it has a dedicated support line for parents and guardians to deal with any queries regarding scoliosis at 01-4096648, Monday to Friday 9am-12 noon.