§ Mr. Burns
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his answer of 22 October 1998,Official Report, column 1180, what is the nature of the work being done with the North Thames Task Force and the National Patients Access Team to reduce waiting lists in the Mid Essex Hospitals Trust area; and what is the agreed target for reducing waiting lists by March 1999 in the Mid Essex Hospitals Trust area. 
§ Mr. Hutton
[holding answer 29 October 1998]: The North Thames Waiting List Task Force and the National Patients' Access Team have been working with clinicians and managers at the trust to achieve a shared understanding of the particular causes of pressure on the trust's waiting lists and are assisting the trust in implementing good practice from elsewhere to help reduce waiting lists.
The agreed waiting list target reduction for the Mid Essex Hospitals National Health Service Trust is to a list size of 9,738 at the end of March 1999.