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Hospital Waiting Lists

Volume 130: debated on Wednesday 30 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give a breakdown by regional health authority of the allocation of resources to district health authorities for operations to be conducted by private hospitals to reduce waiting lists for the next financial year.

Our policy is that the Health Service and the private sector should co-operate to provide the best possible total health care for all patients. Health authorities provide us with data on contractual arrangements with private institutions annually in arrears. We do not, therefore, have data for the next financial year.So far 20 projects which will make use of the private sector facilities are in the regional health authorities' programmes for the use of the £30 million waiting list fund for 1988–89.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish the waiting list figures for September 1987.

I regret to say that there have been continuing difficulties in switching to the new and more detailed information system which have delayed the production of waiting list statistics in a validated form. They will be published as soon as possible after Easter.Further work is being undertaken to establish whether gaps in the data so far collected by health authorities can be filled.