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Dental Services: Waiting Lists

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time in England for orthodontic appointments was for the (a) first consultation and (b) start of treatment in the most recent period for which figures are available; and what the national target times are in each case. (158482)

Information is not collected centrally on waiting times for national health service orthodontic treatment provided in primary care.

Information is available on average hospital waiting times from referral to first out-patient appointment, and from decision to admit to hospital admission, both day case and in-patient. The latest period for which data is available is June 2007. The average waiting time for a first out-patient appointment in this period was 3.6 weeks, and 6.7 weeks for admission.

The NHS operating standard of no more than 13 weeks to first out-patient consultation, and 26 weeks to admission applies to orthodontics delivered in secondary care.

By the end of 2008, the maximum wait for any medical or surgical consultant led treatment, including orthodontic treatment, will be just 18 weeks from initial referral to start of treatment for all patients who want it and for whom it is clinically appropriate.