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Waiting Times

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 8 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health why direct referrals to audiology services have been excluded from the 18-week waiting time target as set out in “Tackling hospital waiting: the 18 week patient pathway”. (74774)

As detailed in paragraph 2.5 of the publication “Tackling hospital waiting: the 18 week patient pathway. An implementation framework” the 18-week patient pathway is focused on changing traditional hospital consultant pathways. Audiology, and adult hearing services in particular, are mainly accessed directly by primary care. Therefore, they are predominantly outside the scope of the 18-week pathway.

However, a separate action plan is currently under consideration to improve access to adult hearing services outside the 18-week programme. The intention is to develop the action plan in partnership with stakeholders.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time is for an initial paediatric cardiology assessment. (74702)

The average waiting time, for a child aged 0 to 17 years, from receipt of a general practitioner’s written referral request to attending a paediatric cardiology out-patients clinic is seven weeks.