Notes to editors
- 18-week waits
The NHS Improvement Plan (2004) established a maximum wait of 18 weeks from the time of GP referral to a hospital consultant, to the start of treatment. The target was effectively met on time, at the end of 2008.
The latest data shows that the ongoing performance targets continue to be met: at April 2009 93 per cent of admitted patients were seen within 18 weeks (within the target of 90 per cent) and 97 per cent of non-admitted patients were seen within 18 weeks (within the target of 95 per cent). Read the Department of Health press release on the latest data.
- A&E four-hour target
This NHS Plan (2000) target stated that by 2004 all patients attending accident and emergency departments should be treated, discharged or admitted within four hours of arrival. This was later refined in 2003 to a requirement that the target be met for 98 per cent of patients. The target was missed only very narrowly – in the first quarter of 2005, 97 per cent of patients were seen within this time.
In 2008/09 – 98 per cent of patients spent four hours or less from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge. Access Department of Health statistics.
- Check ups for 40+ year olds
Then Secretary of State for Health Alan Johnson announced plans for everyone aged 40-74 to be offered a single, integrated check to assess risk of vascular disease (heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease) in April 2008. Details of the programme are outlined in Putting Prevention First (2008). The Department of Health estimates that there will be 3 million tests a year, at an estimated cost of £250m per year. Implementation began in April 2009.
Online health MOTs – called NHS Lifecheck – were developed in 2006 after a commitment in Our Health Our Care Our Say (2006).
- Two week cancer waits
The NHS Cancer Plan (2000) established a two-week maximum waiting time target from GP referral to outpatient appointment for all patients referred as 'urgent' cases. At the end of 2008/09 this was being met in 95 per cent of cases. This particular target does not currently extend to 'routine' GP referrals to cancer specialists. More on cancer waiting times from the Department of Health.
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