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Hospitals: Waiting Lists

Health written question – answered on 8th May 2008.

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Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Conservative, Worthing West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when Ministers in his Department first knew that the NHS quarterly statistics for inpatient and outpatient waiting times did not meet each of the six statistical criteria.

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

On 10 March 2008 I received briefing from departmental officials on the findings of the Statistics Commission report entitled 'Review of Statistical First Releases'. This report was published on 13 March 2008 and copies are available in the Library.

The report included analysis of a release entitled NHS inpatient and outpatient waiting times figures, events during the quarter ending 30 June 2007 which was published on 31 August 2007.

In order to provide as much information as possible and accord with best practice, from 1 April 2008, all of the Department's National Statistics, including monthly inpatient and outpatient waiting times, are being released in accordance with arrangements approved by the new UK Statistics Authority.

Monthly inpatient and outpatient waiting statistics, in addition to our newer referral to treatment waiting statistics, continue to be accompanied by neutral statistical commentary.

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