Govt scraps NHS targets, waiting lists double


9:30 am - October 25th 2010

by Newswire    


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The number of patients waiting months for tests to detect cancer and other killer diseases has almost doubled since NHS waiting targets were scrapped, according to the Government’s own figures.

Latest data show more than 5,700 people waiting in excess of six weeks for MRI scans, ultrasounds and other tests. Cancer charities and patients’ groups said they were “shocked and alarmed” at the rapid increase in the numbers being forced to wait before they are even diagnosed.

Until they were scrapped in July, the waiting targets had stipulated that treatment for any disease should start within 18 weeks of a patient seeing their GP. This put pressure on hospitals to carry out tests quickly, so that patients could be diagnosed and booked in for surgery or other treatment.

Last night John Healey, the shadow health secretary, accused the Government of “putting both patients and the NHS at risk”.

…more at The Telegraph

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Reader comments


As a headline, quite worrying – but as the funding hasn’t been reduced, we have to ask why hospitals are choosing to wait longer before performing some of the tests.

Is carrying out the tests – which were generally driven by political requirements for good headlines – within a specifically time limit really as important as the politicians/public think?

If doctors are themselves re-prioritising their spending to other areas, it suggests that they are less convinced of the value of speedy tests for some headline illnesses and feel that other areas have a higher medical impact.

I’m guessing there is less of an onus on fudging the numbers. My Doctor friends tell me there were all sorts of ways they used to get around the 18 week limit.

Only way to tell the true effect is if cancer survival rates start to go up. The sad thing is that if the government is wrong it means people will have lost their lives needlessly – on the other hand if they are right then it would mean the targets were needlessly killing people. No-one said it was easy being the Health Secretary.


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  10. Jack Stone

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  12. rWorld2 » Blog Archive » Govt scraps NHS targets, waiting lists double via Liberal Conspiracy

    […] Posted by george on October 25th, 2010 via liberalconspiracy.org […]

  13. Pucci Dellanno

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