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Home Industry News Waiting times ‘on track’ confirms DoH

Waiting times ‘on track’ confirms DoH

8th November 2007

The Department of Health (DoH) has produced figures showing that more than seven out of every ten NHS patients are currently being treated within 18 weeks from their first GP referral.

Official data showed that 76 per cent of patients were being treated within 18 weeks or less in August 2007 if they did not need to be admitted to hospital.

The figures have been generated by a new method of measuring weighting times with every stage of the patient’s journey captured from waiting for diagnostic tests to outpatient appointments.

Regional and speciality breakdowns were also recorded, with the figures showing that gastroenterology, general medicine and cardiothoracic surgery to be the top performing specialities for waiting times.

Health minister Ben Bradshaw illustrated how ten years ago it was common for people to wait 18 months and that the NHS had “come a long way” and was making progress to end lengthy waiting periods.

“With millions of patients in the system at any one time, it is encouraging that majority of patients are already being seen within 18 weeks. Some places are making progress faster than others, but I’m confident that by the end of 2008, patients can expect to start their treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from GP referral to treatment,” he stated.

Last month, the 2007 pre-Budget Report and Comprehensive Spending Review outlined a three-year settlement for the DoH which will see an increase in the NHS budget by four per cent a year.

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