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Hospitals: Waiting Lists

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time was for out-patient operations in each year since 1997. (310463)

The median waiting times for in-patient admissions and out-patient appointments is shown in the table.

Information on the average waiting time for out-patient operations is not collected centrally. While some procedures might take place in out-patients, when an operation is required this will most likely be in an in-patient setting either as a day case or overnight admission.

The in-patient/out-patient waiting times data do not indicate what treatment the patient received.

Median waiting time (weeks)

Patients still waiting at period end

Patients seen during the quarter

Period ending:

In-patient

Out-patient

Out-patient

March 1997

13.2

n/a

n/a

June 1997

13.6

n/a

6.3

March 1998

14.9

n/a

6.4

March 1999

12.9

n/a

7.0

March 2000

12.9

n/a

7.7

March 2001

12.6

n/a

7.5

March 2002

12.7

n/a

7.6

March 2003

11.9

n/a

7.4

March 2004

10.2

n/a

7.1

March 2005

8.5

4.8

7.0

March 2006

7.3

3.7

6.1

March 2007

6.2

3.2

5.2

March 2008

4.5

2.6

n/a

March 2009

4.0

2.4

n/a

November 2009

4.2

2.8

n/a

Notes:

1. Out-patient waiting times are measured from referral by the general practitioner to first out-patient appointment to the consultant.

2. In-patient waiting times are measured from decision to admit to admission.

3. Out-patient commissioner data only available from June 1997.

4. Full out-patient waiting list only available from 2004-05, hence no median available on this basis before then.

5. Out-patient waiting times on a ‘seen’ basis ceased in September 2007.

6. Median waiting times are calculated from aggregate data, rather than patient level data, and therefore are only estimates of the average wait.

Source:

Department of Health QM08R, QFO1 and monthly monitoring collections