Strategic health authorities (SHAs) have provided assurance that their activity plans for 2007-08 will deliver the 18-week milestones including six-week maximum waits for all diagnostic tests by March 2008. SHAs have generally taken the view that they can achieve the necessary reductions in audiology waiting times with a modest procurement of additional independent sector capacity.
The SHAs are confident that the remaining capacity can be found through a combination of more efficient use of existing capacity, extra investment in NHS-provided services and the roll out of the one-stop assessment and fit service model, all of which should have a substantial impact, as set out in ,Improving Access to Audiology’. Services in England, copies of which are available in the Library.
The additional independent sector capacity will be provided through extensions to the existing diagnostics phase 2 procurement and local procurement.