Reports emerged yesterday that NHS waiting lists in London hospitals for the top 10 procedures have risen by a third in the space of a year.
The Evening Standard has warned that the number of patients waiting over six months for treatment rose in a year from 8,385 to 10,693.
In the same time period, the number of patients waiting more than 12 months increased to 2,885, and the number of those waiting more than 18 months increased to 1,603.
The top 10 procedures include treatments for cataracts and cancer screening, as well as endoscopic examinations, biopsies and brain scans.
Labour MP Gareth Thomas, who obtained the figures, said: “It is vital that patients ... should be able to promptly undergo these very common procedures.”
A separate damning report published yesterday exposed the hidden NHS waiting lists in Scotland.
The report, by Audit Scotland, said that officials failed to pay enough attention to how the times were collected in the past as long as the figures looked good.
It revealed that at one point, up to seven times more patients were waiting too long for operations than appeared from original figures.
In some cases patients were incorrectly marked as “unavailable for treatment”, simply because they refused to travel to England for treatment.
However, the watchdog was unable to say whether these instances were deliberate manipulation of the waiting lists or if it was just a result of poor monitoring.
If you want to get private diagnostic tests and scans without waiting on a list, look for a medical insurance policy with outpatient cover.
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