§ Mr. Peter Walker
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what measures are being taken to reduce the 14-month 682W average period of waiting for joint replacement surgery.
§ Mr. Ennals
Studies of orthopaedic service in different hospitals have shown that the waiting lists for joint replacement surgery can best be shortened by transferring elsewhere, preferably when possible to their own homes, elderly patients who continue to occupy orthopaedic beds but no longer require acute care. Pressure on orthopaedic beds can also be relieved by greater use of short-stay and day surgery for minor conditions. My Department's consultative document "Priorities for the Personal Health and Social Services", lays emphasis on both of these.