§ Mr. Burns
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects in-patient waiting lists in the Mid Essex Hospital Trust area to fall below the level that they were at on 31 March 1997. 
§ Mr. Lammy
[holding answer 31 October 2002]: Mid Essex Hospitals National Health Service Trust achieved the 2001–02 plan ensuring that no patients were waiting more than 15 months for elective treatment. The trust also exceeded its elective activity while successfully managing an increase in emergency activity.
Currently Mid Essex Hospitals Trust is following government guidelines with robust delivery plans in place to reduce the waiting times for patients on the waiting list to a maximum of 12 months by March 2003.