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Home Industry News NHS waiting will be history, says minister

NHS waiting will be history, says minister

6th February 2006

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has welcomed waiting list figures that mean the NHS has achieved the target of delivering a maximum wait of six months for treatment.

The next step for the government is to make a maximum wait for patients of 18 weeks from GP referral to start of treatment.

Ms Hewitt said: “Now that maximum wait is down to six months ? with the average wait for treatment being eight weeks. The NHS has eradicated long waits and is now delivering the fastest ever access to NHS treatment. This is dramatic and real progress.

“The challenge now is to meet our commitment to deliver a maximum wait of 18 weeks from GP to treatment. This will end the hidden waiting lists that patients often encounter and is the final step in consigning waiting lists to NHS history.”

The figures showed that 48 people were now waiting more than six months, with 36 of those being English patients waiting for treatment in Welsh hospitals, and since March 1997 waiting lists have fallen by nearly 400,000.

track© Adfero Ltd

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