Magazine article Public Finance

NHS Waiting Times Officially Up on 1997

Magazine article Public Finance

NHS Waiting Times Officially Up on 1997

Article excerpt

Average NHS waiting times have risen since 1997, according to new Department of Health figures.

The statistics, published on February 29, show that since 1997-98, the average median waiting time for hospital appointments has risen from 41 days to 47 days in 2006-07.

The figures published by the NHS Information Centre, however, show some cancer waiting times have increased slightly, while there have been significant reductions in waiting times for minor conditions such as cataract operations.

The government said the figures were 'misleading'. Health minister Ben Bradshaw said: 'The real mean average waiting time for all inpatients has fallen dramatically from 89 days in 1997 to 73 days now, and long waits have fallen even more.'

However, he admitted that 'statistically' it is 'more difficult to make an impact on the median time people waited'. …

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