§ Baroness Masham of Ilton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Why there is such a complicated booking system for patients and long waiting times for appointments for the gynaecology department of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London. 
§ Lord Warner
The gynaecology department at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital currently operates a system called partial booking. Partial booking is an interim step on the way towards full booking. Full hooking is where the patient can choose a convenient date at the point of referral. In specialties where waiting times are long, partial booking allows the patient to choose a date that is convenient for them nearer to the time of their expected appointment, usually around four to eight weeks in advance. This process also has the effect of reducing the number of DNAs (did not attend) as patients are more likely to keep their appointment.
We are informed by Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trusts that its partial booking system started in the gynaecology department in August 2000 and has reduced the DNA rate from 19 per cent to 10 per cent. The trust also assures me that the gynaecology department is working to reduce long waits and ensure that, in line with our expectations, no patient is waiting longer than 17 weeks for a first outpatient appointment by the end of March this year.