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NHS deliberately increasing patient waiting times

Published on 05/09/2011

At least ten NHS primary care trusts (PCTs) out of 100 have artificially increased waiting times to save money, the Daily Telegraph has revealed.

In Wiltshire and Gloucester, PCTs have introduced blanket minimum waiting times of 15 weeks for elective surgery. In Hertfordshire, patients must wait a minimum of 12 weeks for all routine surgery procedures.

Hospitals in West Kent and West Berkshire have been told by PCTs to manage their waiting times to ‘ensure appropriate pacing of activity’. The PCT in Milton Keynes also told hospitals to ‘phase the activity to an agreed invoice volume’.

In November 2010, Warwickshire managers introduced a policy called Fast, Slow, Stop, under which doctors can decide which procedures can be cancelled or delayed.

Earlier this year the NHS Confederation confirmed that the NHS was halting a reduction in waiting times in order to contain costs.

The NHS is expected to cut £20 billion from its budget over the next 4 years, so PCTs are currently under pressure to deliver savings. However, this cost cutting method will not prove popular with patients kept waiting for vital surgical procedures.

This news comes after previous reports that the number of people waiting more than six weeks for key NHS tests has quadrupled in one year.

Patients with private health insurance will bypass these potentially long NHS queues and receive prompt treatment at a time convenient for them. Compare health insurance quotes now to get instant cover.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
NHS deliberately increasing patient waiting timesAt least ten NHS primary care trusts (PCTs) out of 100 have artificially increased waiting times to save money, the Daily Telegraph has reve    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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