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Waiting Times

Volume 404: debated on Thursday 1 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time for an out-patient appointment (a) in Greater London and (b) in England was in (i) the latest period for which figures are available and (ii) May 1997. [101313]

The table shows the estimated median waiting time, in weeks, for first outpatient appointments in London (defined by the five London strategic health authorities), and England at the end of March 1997 and December 2002, the latest position. Over this period the number of people in London waiting over 26 weeks for their first outpatient appointment fell from 15,200 at end March 1997 to five at end December 2002. The equivalent figures for England are 70,700 to less than 700.

Estimated median waiting time1 for first outpatient appointment following written GP referral
March 19976.066.05
December 2002 (latest published quarterly data)7.537.55
1The medians in the table are based on aggregate data, categorised into waiting time bands, and do not reflect shifts in the waiting time profiles within these bands, only between bands. Progress on delivering maximum waiting times may not necessarily translate into a reduction in the median waiting time, because of shifts in low time bands.


Estimated using data from Department of Health form QM08