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NHS misses 18-week waiting time target

NHS misses 18-week waiting time target

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For the first time since March 2011, the NHS has missed essential waiting time targets, official figures show. 

There are currently 2.89 million people waiting for hospital procedures. And 550 of these have been waiting for more than a year. 

At least 90% of patients should be treated within 18 weeks, however the figure fell to 89.9% in February.  

The NHS England figures show that the average patient waits 9.5 weeks after being referred from their GP, up from eight weeks in 2010. 

Dr Barbara Hakin, chief operating officer of NHS England said the health service is currently treating more people than ever. 

She said: “Over a million people start treatment with a consultant each month. The overwhelming majority of patients still get treatment within the 18 week standard and around fifty per cent of patients are admitted for treatment within ten weeks of their GP referring them to hospital.

“The NHS is performing well across a broad range of indicators, including urgent care where we have delivered to the 95% standard as laid down by the NHS Constitution.

“We are determined to redouble our efforts so that we do meet the standard and 90 per cent of patients are treated within 18 weeks. But this may take several months as it is imperative we focus on those who have waited longest.”

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