§ Lord Marlesford
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is the maximum time from referral by a consultant that a patient should have to wait to receive (a) an MRI scan, (b) a CT scan, (c) an EMG (nerve conduction studies), and (d) a bone scan; and [HL1140]167WA
Whether they are aware that the current waiting time for a patient being referred by a consultant to the Suffolk Health Authority's Barrack Lane Back Clinic in Ipswich for an MRI scan is 16 to 20 weeks, for a CT scan is 16 weeks, for EMG (nerve conduction studies) is 8 to 12 weeks and for a bone scan is four weeks; how this compares with the national average; whether they regard these waiting times as clinically satisfactory; and, if not, what action they propose to take. [HL 1141]
§ Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
There is no recommended maximum waiting time from referral by a consultant to receipt of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan, Computerised Tomography (CT) scan, nerve conduction studies (EMG) or bone scan. The waiting time at Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust for some of these investigations has improved over the past six months (since August 2000). For example CT scans have improved to four weeks from 13 weeks. However, how long patients wait should depend on their clinical need. We do acknowledge that some patients can wait a long time for tests. Through initiatives such as the National Booked Admissions Programme, the Cancer Services Collaborative and the Coronary Heart Disease Partnership Programme, we are encouraging hospitals to streamline their services so that tests are carried out, and a diagnosis made, as quickly as possible.