The White Paper, Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS, sets out a significant set of reforms for the NHS over the coming years. As we do with all new major policy developments, The King's Fund will follow the evolution and implementation of these changes and assess their impact. As part of this evaluation we will collate and comment on key aspects of NHS performance, starting with hospital waiting times.
The 18-week referral to treatment waiting times data for November 2010 are shown in the figures below.
As we have pointed out before, in our seasonal effects blog, care should be taken in interpreting changes in waiting times.
Median waiting times (in weeks): predictions and actual
As for our predictions for median waiting times for November (based on seasonal trends), as the table shows, they were close(ish). Predictions for December median waits are in the last column of the table.
Patients still on waiting lists waiting more than 18 weeks
Patients treated in outpatients who waited more than 18 weeks
Patients admitted as inpatients who waited more than 18 weeks
Patients waiting more than 6 weeks for a diagnostic test
This month we have added another aspect of waiting – waiting times for diagnostic tests. This graph shows the proportion of those who waited over 6 weeks plus the median waiting time for those who received a diagnostic test.