40,000 patients miss NHS target

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Published: Thursday 9th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Nearly 40,000 hospital patients failed to receive NHS treatment in England within the target of 18 weeks in February, newly-released figures show.

More than 13,000 of these took longer than 26 weeks, according to NHS England.

While the target is for 90% of hospital patients to begin consultant-led treatment within 18 weeks of referral, just 87% did so.

Labour said this represented the lowest percentage performance on record.

The figure represents the highest number of patients still waiting after 18 weeks since April 2008 when it was just over 40,000.

The lowest since then was in April 2009 when it dropped to less than 18,000.

NHS targets also mean that 95% of outpatients should start treatment within 18 weeks of referral, but this was 94.7% in February.

Nearly 45,000 were still waiting after 18 weeks, although this was surpassed in November when the figure was nearly 46,000.

An NHS England spokesman said: “In February the NHS made further strides in cutting long waits, with the number of patients who waited over a year slashed from over 5,000 three years ago to being in the hundreds now, and with the average wait for an operation being just 10 weeks.”

Published: Thursday 9th April 2015 by The News Editor

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