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Waiting Lists

Volume 116: debated on Friday 15 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the waiting list for (a) urgent and (b) non-urgent operations within the Islington health authority; and what are the comparative figures for April 1983 and April 1987.

I am sorry I cannot give the hon. Member all the information he seeks in precisely the form requested. Waiting list information is collected centrally at 31 March, 30 September and 31 December annually according to consultant department. The available figures are given in the table. For the recent information requested the hon. Member may wish to write to the chairman of the Islington district health authority.

Surgical in-patient waiting list at 31 March, 1983 NHS hospitals, Islington District Health Authority
Number
Urgent cases218
Non-urgent cases905
All cases1,123

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services to what extent figures for numbers on hospital waiting lists after 1 April 1987 will be comparable with those for numbers on hospital waiting lists before 1 April 1987; and if he will make a statement.

[pursuant to his reply, 11 May 1987, c. 127]: Following the 1982 recommendations of the first report of the Health Services Information Group, under Mrs. E. Köxrner, new central returns of numbers of people waiting for admission to a hospital bed were introduced on 1 April 1987. These returns have been designed to provide a more comprehensive picture of future demand on the National Health Service and the figures included in them will be extracted from more detailed sets of information held by district health authorities for management purposes.The major differences between the counts of people waiting for hospital treatment before and after 1 April 1987 are:

  • (i) People waiting for treatment as day cases will be counted and separate figures given after 1 April 1987. Previously, only people expected to remain in hospital for at least one night were counted.
  • (ii) People who have refused an offer of admission to a hospital bed for personal reasons and whose condition continues to require hospital treatment will be counted in the figures of those waiting for hospital treatment at the end of each quarter after 1 April 1987. Previously such cases were not included in the biannual counts of people waiting for hospital treatment.
  • This latter change is likely to lead to a small rise in the count of the number of people waiting for hospital treatment, but a separate return will allow the impact of their inclusion on changes in the numbers of people waiting for hospital treatment to be assessed. The new returns will give more detailed information about the length of time patients on the list have been waiting.