HC Deb 19 July 1977 vol 935 cc430-1W
47. Mr. Edwin Wainwright

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the number of urgent cases in the Trent Regional Health Authority area on the waiting list; how many have been waiting for over one month; and if he will make a statement on the action he intends to take to remedy this position.

Mr. Moyle

On 31st March 1977 there were 3,691 urgent cases on waiting lists in the Trent region, of which 2,560 had been on the lists for more than one month.

Regarding action generally in hand on waiting lists, I refer the hon. Member to the reply that my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Newbury (Mr. McNair-Wilson) on 10th May 1977—[Vol. 931, c. 1087–88]

51. Mr. Newens

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he is taking to reduce the length of time which National Health Service patients are obliged to wait for surgical operations and other forms of hospital treatment.

Mr. Ennals

I have been having discussions with chief officers and chairmen of regional health authorities on how best to tackle this long-standing and intractable problem, and have recently sent to national representatives of medical and nursing staffs a national summary of reports by health authorities on management arrangements for hospital waiting lists, inviting their comments.

Health authorities have been asked to identify in their capital estimates schemes expected to reduce waiting lists for hospital in-patient admission. Nearly £8 million was identified under this heading in the financial year 1976–77.