§ Sir Peter Mills
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the waiting list for orthopaedics at Exeter health authority hospitals; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what is the waiting list for eye surgery and consultancy at the Plymouth health authority hospitals.
§ Mr. Newton
At 31 December 1985, the waiting list for eye surgery and consultancy in the Plymouth health authority was 415; and for orthopaedics in Exeter it was 1,589.
As my hon. Friend knows, the Government are taking positive steps to achieve a substantial fall in waiting lists and times. My right hon. Friend has written to regional chairmen asking them to lead their districts in a review and to report back on the scale and nature of the problem, the 286W action already taken to tackle it and proposals for reducing waiting lists and times substantially in the future. At the same time the Government have set aside £50 million over the next two years for this purpose. The reports from the regional health authorities are now being studied.
I look forward to substantial improvements nationally, which I am sure will be reflected in Exeter and Plymouth.