§ Mr. Morgan
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what were inpatient and outpatient waiting lists(a) in 1979 and (b) currently; and what is his estimate for 1990–91.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
The inpatient waiting list for England fell from 752,422 at 31 March 1979 to 704,724 at 31 March 1989, the latest date for which firm figures are available. Provisional figures for September 1989 suggest there has been a further reduction, particularly in the number of patients waiting over a year. We do not make forward estimates of the size of the waiting list, since this is subject to unpredictable factors such as variations in demand. No information is held centrally on numbers awaiting outpatient appointments.