§ Mr. Cohen
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current waiting time in (a) Waltham Forest and (b) Britain for routine operations for (i) hernias and (ii) hip replacements; and how these waiting times in Waltham Forest will be affected by the district health authority's operational plan to 1988.
§ Mr. John Patten
The estimated median interval between the date a patient was placed on the waiting list and the date of admission to an NHS hospital for each of the listed operations in England in 1982, the latest year for which information is available centrally is given in the table. I suggest that the hon. Member writes to the 1079W chairman of the North-East Thames regional health authority who may be able to give him the required information for Waltham Forest.
England Estimated median waiting time (in weeks) in 1982 Operation Weeks Inguinal hernia 9 Other abdominal hernia 8 Total hip replacement 23 Other arthroplasty of hip 17
§ Mr. Canavan
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the number of patients on hospital waiting lists; and what is the average waiting time.
§ Mr. John Patten
On 31 March 1984, there were 692,945 patients on in-patient waiting lists in NHS hospitals in England, a reduction of 10,810 (1.5 per cent.) compared with the position at 30 September 1983. The estimated median interval between the date a patient was placed on the waiting list and the date of admission to a non-psychiatric specialty in 1982, the latest year for which this information is available centrally, was 6 weeks.
In general figures on waiting lists are believed to include a significant proportion of duplicated entries and patients who no longer require treatment. The amount of overstatement cannot be readily estimated but is thought to exceed 10 per cent. nationally and could be considerably more. About half of all admissions to hospital are immediate and many of those on waiting lists already have a planned date of admission.