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GP Referrals

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research she has commissioned on the clinical effectiveness of adopting a maximum 18-week waiting time target for all GP referrals. (78012)

Research specifically into the clinical effectiveness of introducing a maximum 18-week waiting time was not commissioned. However, there was extensive clinical input to the plans for delivering the 18-weeks commitment, which was published in “Tackling hospital waiting: the 18-week patient pathway” on 10 May 2006. The vision is to provide patients with fast and convenient access to hospital care, enhancing clinical outcomes wherever appropriate. As now, those with conditions requiring urgent attention will be treated much faster than the average and most waiting times from referral to treatment will be much shorter than 18 weeks.