HC Deb 16 June 1992 vol 209 c476W
25. Mr. Watts

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many in-patients are waiting longer than a year for treatment; and what was the comparable number(a) in March 1979 and (b) in March 1991.

Mr. Sackville

Provisional figures for 31 March 1992 are given in the table. These show that between March 1979 and March 1992 the total number of in-patients waiting over a year fell by 63 per cent.

In-patients waiting over 1 year
Number waiting
March 1979 185,195
March 1991 170,065
March 1992 168,650
1 Based on provisional figures from regional health authorities.

Mr. Redmond

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will arrange to collect centrally statistics on(a) first out-patient waiting lists, (b) in-patient 12 to 24 month waiting lists and (c) in-patient 0 to 12-month waiting lists.

Mr. Sackville

Figures for out-patient waiting times are not collected centrally, but all health authorities are required under the patients charter to publish information on the local standards they have set for waiting times for first out-patient appointments and on performance against these targets. The Department regularly publishes statistical bulletins which include the numbers of people waiting for in-patient and day case hospital treatment in the 0 to 12 and 12 to 24 month categories. The most recent information for the six months to September 1991 was published on 4 June. For provisional figures covering the period up to 30 April 1992, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby) on 10 June at columns219-20.