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Nhs Waiting Lists

Volume 590: debated on Tuesday 9 June 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether NHS waiting lists have shortened since 1 May 1997. [HL2091]

They have not. We inherited a record number of patients on National Health Service waiting lists and a rising trend in the size of the list. In our first year in office we made sure that the NHS averted a winter crisis. NHS waiting lists have increased despite delivering record amounts of hospital care in 1997–98. In March, we announced an extra £500 million to tackle waiting lists this year—which means a total of £2 billion extra for the NHS since coming into office. In the coming year we will use these extra resources to reverse the upward trend in waiting lists and deliver a record reduction so that by next April they are below the level we inherited. This will be the first step in delivering our pledge to bring waiting lists down by 100,000 over the life of the Parliament.