§ Mr. Burstow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people who have received a referral from their general practitioner are waiting to be accepted onto a hospital waiting list after(a) one month, (b) two months, (c) three months and (d) six months, broken down by NHS trust. 
§ Mr. Hutton
The information requested is not available.
National health service trusts should place patients on their waiting list upon receipt of referral from a general practitioner. There should therefore be no significant delay between a GP making a referral and the trust placing the patient on the waiting list.
By 31 December 2005, all patients will be able to book their appointment at the point of referral. GPs will be able to book an appointment direct from their surgery while the patient waits, or, if preferred, the patient can telephone a call centre to book their hospital appointment when they get home.
Out-patient waiting time data are available in the Library.