Hospitals: Waiting Lists

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 21 November 2023.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to reduce NHS waiting times.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

We are taking action to reduce National Health Service waiting times by working towards the targets set out in the Elective Recovery Plan and providing the NHS with record levels of staffing and funding.

To support elective recovery, we plan to spend more than £8 billion from 2022/23 to 2024/25, supported by a £5.9 billion investment in capital – for new beds, equipment and technology.  This funding could deliver the equivalent of around nine million more checks and procedures, and a significant part of this funding will be invested in staff – both in terms of capacity and skills.

£2.3 billion was awarded at SR21 to transform diagnostic services over the next three years. Most of this will help increase the number of Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) up to 160 by March 2025, expanding and protecting elective planned diagnostic services. We are on track to meet our target to open 160 community diagnostic centres a year early. As at November 2023, there are 130 CDCs, which have delivered over 5 million additional diagnostic tests since July 2021.

We are also transforming the way the NHS provides elective care by increasing activity through dedicated and protected surgical hubs, focusing on providing high volume low complexity surgery, as recommended by the Royal College of Surgeons of England. There are currently 95 elective surgical hubs that are operational across England as of 16 November 2023. These surgical hubs will help separate elective care facilities from urgent and emergency care.

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