§ The Prime Minister
[holding answer 9 December 1999]: The Government are committed to ensuring that no patient has to wait more than 18 months for treatment. To reinforce this aim Sir Alan Langlands, the National Health Service Chief Executive, has asked NHS trusts to review their waiting lists and to tighten their procedures.
As a result of this work, a number of patients at Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust have been identified as waiting over 18 months for treatment at the end of November 1999.
The figures for November 1999 are not due to be published until the week commencing 10 January 2000. However, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, in conjunction with the North Essex Health Authority and the Eastern Regional Office, are taking steps to ensure that patients identified as waiting over 18 months are treated as soon as possible.