HC Deb 25 June 2002 vol 387 c859W
Mr. Laws

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average waiting time is from GP referral to initial treatment for users of illegal drugs, broken down by each statutory drugs service in England; and if he will make a statement; [62407]

(2) what the waiting time is from referral to initial consultation for users of illegal drugs, broken down by each statutory drugs service in England; and how many such services have met the Government target of a two week waiting time limit from GP referral to initial consultation. [62408]

Ms Blears

[holding answer 19 June 2002]: Estimated figures for waiting times for referral to initial consultation are listed in the following table. These figures were compiled to assist the national treatment agency in setting targets for reducing overall waiting times and are the latest currently available. Figures for 2000–01 are currently being collated and will be available shortly.

The targets for treatment services are as follows. This information relates to the local authority area, not for each individual agency.

Average baseline waiting time Maximum acceptable lengths of wait
Treatment modality 1999–2000 2002–03 2003–04
Inpatient detoxification 6.1 4 2
Community prescribing-specialist 10.2 6 3
Community prescribing GPs 5 4 2
Structured counselling 4 4 2
Structured day-care programme 3.3 4 3
Residential rehabilitation 5.4 4 3

The information that is available to the Government are the longest wait for different modalities of treatment in each drug action team (DAT) area. DATs reported these figures in December 2001 as part of the routine planning process for treatment at local level. The National Treatment Agency will publish more comprehensive data later this year.

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