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Trusts to reach 18-week target

21st February 2007

More than a dozen health communities have pledged to meet the government’s 18-week target by the end of 2007.

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The government wants to see the maximum wait from referral to treatment drop to 18 weeks by the end of 2008. By this time average waits will be much shorter, around seven weeks, say ministers.

Currently patients can face waits of up to six months for surgery, although the average is eight weeks.

Now 13 health communities have become Early Achievers, promising to reach the target a year ahead of the rest of the NHS.

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt said the target was about cutting unnecessary delays, giving patients a better experience and improving people’s lives.

The trusts have begun new ways of working to achieve the target, including extending roles and one-stop clinics.

The Early Achievers areas by PCT are: Derbyshire, Derby, Blackpool, Bolton, Manchester, Western Cheshire, Walsall, Somerset, Halton and St Helens, Knowsley, Hampshire, Medway, Doncaster, Herefordshire, Torbay and Eastern and Coastal Kent.

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