HC Deb 21 March 1989 vol 149 c567W
31. Mr. Favell

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will introduce as part of his National Health Service reform proposals targets for minimum waiting times for treatment.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Regional health authorities have been asked, as part of the waiting list initiative, to agree with their districts targets for the reduction of waiting time. They are also developing with districts local statements of policy on out-patient and in-patient waiting times. These will eventually include specific targets, for example maximum wait, for specific medical conditions, including the most common waiting list conditions.

The White Paper "Working for Patients" includes a number of proposals designed to reduce waiting time for treatment. We do not, however, propose to set targets from the centre. These are best developed locally, to reflect local needs, demands and resources.