HC Deb 25 June 2003 vol 407 cc838-9W
Chris Grayling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines the NHS Information Agency issues about the adjustment of waiting time statistics to reflect periods of suspension from a list where a patient indicates that they may be away on holiday. [110954]

Mr. Hutton

When a patient is away on holiday and has informed the hospital beforehand, the time the patient is away on holiday counts as a period of suspension for social reasons. A patient cannot be classed as suspended if they have already agreed a date to come in.

The waiting time is calculated from the decision to admit date to admission date or end of reporting period and any periods of suspension deducted from the total length of wait.

This guidance on social suspensions pre-dates this Government coming to power in 1997.

Further information can be found on the NHS Information Authority's website at www.nhsia.nhs.uk/ datastandards/paqes/ddm/index.htm.