NHS waiting list drops to new low

Official figures released today have revealed that waiting lists for NHS operations have reached the lowest level since 1988, when the current system of collating waiting list figures was adopted.

As of July 31, 813,700 people were awaiting an operation, this is a fall of almost 60,000 (6.9%) on the same time last year.

In England, the number of patients waiting over nine months at the end of July 2005 was 15. Two patients were waiting over 12 months.

The statistics revealed that the number of patients waiting over six months at the end of July 2005 was 40,700. This figure represents a decrease of 2,500 (5.9%) from June, and a fall of 30,600 (42.9%) from July 2004.

Ministers have pledged to reduce the waiting times for surgery in England to less than six months by December this year.

Government targets will seek to reduce waiting times from GP consultation to operation to 16 weeks.


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

16 May 2003
Hospital waiting list falls below one million
The number of people waiting for NHS inpatient operations has fallen below a million for the first time in 10 years, according to the government's latest figures.
12 November 2004
NHS waiting lists fall to 17-year low
The total number of people on NHS waiting lists has fallen to its lowest level in 17 years, according to statistics published today. The department of health figures revealed that those on waiting lists dropped by 4,500 to 856,600 in September this year.
04 July 2003
NHS waiting list figures slashed
The latest inpatient figures for May 2003 were released by the Department of Health today. The figures show that: There are 159 patients waiting over 12 months for inpatient treatment, which is over 21,700 less than at the end of March last year.
06 July 2005
Patients prefer better care to faster treatment, report claims
Patients would prefer to wait for better hospital treatment, rather than go to a hospital with shorter waiting lists. A study, conducted by RAND Europe, the King’s Fund and City University, found that patients were more likely to choose to be treated at a hospital with a good reputation rather than one that has shorter waiting times.
19 April 2005
Lib Dems pledge to cut ‘hidden’ NHS waiting lists
The Liberal Democrats have pledged to cut the NHS’ ‘hidden’ waiting lists of people awaiting diagnosis. Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy promised to provide £350 million to help cut waiting times for diagnosis for around 500,000 people who, he said, are “languishing” on these “hidden” waiting lists.