§ 6. Mr. John Marshall
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospital patients were treated in the Barnet health authority in 1991–92.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Mr. Tom Sackville)
I understand from locally provided figures that Barnet health authority purchased in-patient and day care treatment for 39,814 patients in the year 1991–92. This represents an overall increase of 3.4 per cent. over the previous year.
§ Mr. Marshall
Will my hon. Friend join me in thanking the staff, nurses and doctors who made that record achievement possible? Will he also note that one of the hospitals that made that achievement possible was the Royal Free trust hospital which, in its first year as a trust, treated 6 per cent. more patients and cut waiting lists substantially? Is my hon. Friend aware that the hospital waiting lists in Barnet are much better than those laid down in the guidelines in the citizens charter?
§ Mr. Sackville
I certainly join my hon. Friend in that. I remind him that on I May no one was waiting for more than two years for in-patient treatment in Barnet health authority, that the number of patients waiting between one and two years was down by 66 per cent. and that the health authority's aim by December 1992 is to reduce the maximum waiting time to nine months for general surgery and several other specialties.