§ Mr. Horam
Last year we set the first national standard for the waiting time from general practitioner referral to being seen by a hospital specialist. Latest figures show that in the north-west 86 per cent. of patients were seen within 13 weeks of referral and 98 per cent. were seen within 26 weeks. This is better than performance nationally and health authorities and trusts in the region are working to further reduce these waiting times.