Hospitals: Waiting Lists

Health written question – answered on 24th January 2008.

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Photo of Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) mean and (b) median (i) inpatient and (ii) outpatient waiting times were in each year from 1993-94 to 2006-07, as given by (A) Korner and (B) Hospital Episodes Statistics data.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department of Health

The figures are shown in the following tables.

It should be noted that Korner data measure the numbers still waiting at the end of a period, while Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) measure the time waited for patients admitted during a year. HES figures do not take into account periods of suspension for medical and social reasons.

The NHS has delivered access targets through better waiting list management. This means that routine cases are seen "in turn" once clinical priorities have been treated. Median waits initially increase as the longest wait patients are treated and this is reflected in the HES figures.

Inpatient mean and medians in weeks from 1994
Korner aggregate returns HES
Year ending Median commissioner Mean commissioner Median provider Mean provider
March 1994 14.4 20.2 5.9 13.0
March 1995 12.5 17.8 6.1 12.9
March 1996 11.8 15.9 6.0 12.6
March 1997 13.2 18.1 5.7 11.8
March 1998 14.9 20.0 5.9 12.8
March 1999 12.9 18.6 6.4 14.1
March 2000 12.9 18.7 6.1 12.9
March 2001 12.6 18.1 6.3 13.3
March 2002 12.7 17.4 6.7 13.7
March 2003 11.9 15.6 7.0 14.1
March 2004 10.2 12.4 7.1 13.6
March 2005 8.5 10.6 7.4 12.0
March 2006 7.3 8.7 7.3 11.1
March 2007 6.2 7.4 7.0 10.4
October 2007 5.0 6.2 n/a n/a
Notes:

1. HES figures relate to patients admitted during financial year ending March.

2. Korner figures relate to numbers waiting as at 31 March (or at 31 October for the current figures).

Source:

QF01 return, HES.

Outpatient mean and medians in weeks from 1994
Korner aggregate returns HES
Year ending Median commissioner Mean commissioner Median provider Mean provider
March 1994 5.4 9.4 n/a n/a
March 1995 5.8 9.1 n/a n/a
March 1996 6.1 8.7 n/a n/a
March 1997 6.1 8.6 n/a n/a
March 1998 6.4 9.2 n/a n/a
March 1999 6.9 10.0 n/a n/a
March 2000 7.4 11.1 n/a n/a
March 2001 7.4 10.8 n/a n/a
March 2002 7.3 10.4 n/a n/a
March 2003 7.2 8.7 n/a n/a
March 2004 7.0 7.9 n/a n/a
March 2005 7.0 7.5 7.0 8.3
March 2006 6.5 6.9 6.9 7.8
March 2007 5.0 5.6 n/a n/a
Notes:

1. HES figures relate to patients admitted during financial year ending March. Outpatient HES only available from 2004-05.

2. Korner figures prior to March 1998 are provider based.

Source:

QM08R return, HES.

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