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NHS waiting times on the rise

8th December 2010

An analysis of Department of Health data by Pulse magazine has suggested that NHS waiting times are increasing after the government got rid of the 18-week target.

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The data showed that many more patients had to wait for over 18 weeks after being referred to hospital by their doctor.

The Department of Health got rid of the target for patients to be seen at hospital within 18 weeks in June, but stated that it would not mean people would have to wait for a long time to be seen.

The analysis revealed that 45,000 patients were not seen within 18 weeks in September, an increase of 15% from the 39,000 not seen in July.

The data showed that 12.6% of patients who required orthopaedic or trauma treatment and 10.6% who needed oral surgery waited for longer than 18 weeks.

Chaand Nagpaul, from the British Medical Association's GP committee, said: "We're getting reports of trusts delaying treatment so they can address financial problems."

"The government is engaging in double speak - removing targets on one hand but committed to patients' rights (through the NHS Constitution) on the other."

 

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