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Musculoskeletal Disorders: Waiting Lists

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the (a) median and (b) mean length of time a patient has waited for (i) an outpatient and (ii) an inpatient appointment in the (A) orthopaedic and (B) rheumatology specialty since 1997, as measured by the (1) Korner and (2) Hospital Episodes Statistics databases, broken down by strategic health authority area. (249246)

The median and mean time a patient waited for an out-patient and in-patient appointment for orthopaedics and rheumatology since 2002, when strategic health authorities were established, as measured by Korner and Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) are available in the document ‘Trauma & Orthopaedics and Rheumatology—Median and Mean 2002 to January 2009’, which has been placed in the Library.

The median referral to treatment time waited of patients who were admitted for treatment has come down from 18.8 weeks in March 2007 to 8.6 weeks in January 2009. Median referral to treatment time waited for non-admitted patients was 4.6 weeks in January 2009, compared to 7.4 weeks in August 2007.

The median referral to treatment time waited of trauma and orthopaedic patients admitted for treatment has come down from 29.5 weeks in March 2007 to 12.6 weeks in January 2009. Median referral to treatment time waited for non-admitted trauma and orthopaedic patients fell from 5.8 weeks in August 2007 to five weeks in January 2009.

The median referral to treatment time waited of rheumatology patients admitted for treatment has come down from 15 weeks in March 2007 to 4.4 weeks in January 2009. Median referral to treatment time waited for non-admitted rheumatology patients fell from 9.3 weeks in August 2007 to 5.8 weeks in January 2009.