HC Deb 21 March 1989 vol 149 cc573-4W
67. Mr. Stevens

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to reduce the variations in waiting lists between different health districts.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The proposals in our White Pa per "Working for Patients" will help reduce the variations in waiting times between health authorities. 100 extra consultants will be appointed over the next three years, and these will be targeted at the districts and specialities where waiting times are the longest. We will also change the funding system used by the health service to enable patients to receive treatment in hospitals where the wait is shortest if they wish.

We have made £86 million available over three years through our waiting list fund to enable hundreds of thousands of extra patients to be treated from the wailing lists. Next year some £6 million of the fund will be used to give special targeted help to districts with particular waiting problems.