The following table sets out the amount spent on travel and other expenses by the National Implementation Director for 18 weeks in the 12 months to October 2007.
£ Travel 9,156 Other expenses 5,082 Total 14,238
The National Implementation Director for 18 Weeks has spoken at or participated in 139 national, regional and local events over this period.
An operational tolerance is needed to account for when it would be clinically inappropriate to treat patients or where patients choose to wait longer than 18 weeks from referral.
The Department is currently considering the tolerance level needed to reflect this. The operational tolerance will be confirmed in the NHS Operating Framework for 2008-09.
Latest figures show that seven out of 10 patients are already being treated in 18 weeks or less. The NHS is making good progress towards effectively ending waiting next year.
The Department receives a wide range of written and other representations on issues relating to 18 weeks. Information on the number of representations specifically expressing concern about meeting the target could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.