§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the number of health authorities and hospital trusts that have received payments from the national waiting list initiative fund in the present financial year.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
Allocations from the waiting list fund are made to regions, which in turn allocate sums to their constituent health authorities. Information is not available centrally on regions' allocation to districts except for the 80 target lists being investigated by Qa Business Services. The available information is shown in the tables.67W
Waiting list fund 1990–91 Table 1. Allocations to regions from main wailing list fund Region Allocation (to 30 June 1991) (£000) Northern 375 Yorkshire 520 Trent 500 East Anglian 340 North West Thames 433 North East Thames 658 South East Thames 440
Table 2. Allocations to regions from £9 million reserved for target lists Region District Specialty Allocation (to 30 June 1991) (£000) Trent Sheffield Trauma and Orthopaedics 123 North East Thames Tower Hamlets Oral Surgery 24 Tower Hamlets Trauma and Orthopaedics 24 West Essex General Surgery/Urology 9 West Essex Trauma and Orthopaedics 61 City and Hackney Ear, Nose and Throat 62 North East Essex General Surgery 63 South West Thames West Surrey Ophthalmology 31 North West Surrey Trauma and Orthopaedics 60 West Midlands North Staffordshire Trauma and Orthopaedics 50 Total allocations to target lists 507
§ Mr. Hinchliffe
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions his Department has held with the Yorkshire regional health authority about the authority's scheme with regard to the identification by general practitioners of patients on hospital waiting lists for more than 12 months; and what is the estimate of the likely cost of this scheme.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
The Department has had no specific discussions with the regional health authority on this. However, I understand that as part of the drive to reduce long waiting times, the region has asked purchasing health authorities and GP fund-holders to check the details of patients who have been waiting over a year. The regional health authority has told the Department that the costs are minimal.
It is a key regional management task to ensure that purchasers know how many of their patients are waiting, at which hospitals and for how long, so that arrangements can be made, using the waiting list fund, to secure early treatment for long wait patients. The waiting list fund is expected to be used to reduce the number of long wait patients of both health authorities and GP fund-holders.