§ 14. Mr. David Watkins
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what measures he is taking to reduce the length of patients' waiting time for appointments with orthopaedic consultants at Shotley Bridge General Hospital, Consett.
§ Mr. Moyle
I am not happy about the length of time patients have to wait for an appointment to see an orthopaedic consultant at this hospital, and I have asked the Northern Regional Health Authority to investigate the underlying causes of the problem and consider whether the waiting time can be shortened. The results of its investigation, which is being conducted with all possible speed, are not yet available. I shall write to my hon. Friend as soon as I have received and considered the regional health authority's report.
§ Mr. Watkins
Is my hon. Friend aware that his unhappiness is shared by myself and large numbers of other people, not only in my constituency? The waiting time is two years. In spite of what my hon. Friend has said, there is no visible evidence of any sense of urgency on the part of the regional health authority.