Devon PCT: shortest patient waiting times since records began

Devon Primary Care Trust (PCT) is today celebrating the shortest waiting times since NHS records began.

Devon Primary Care Trust (PCT) is today celebrating the shortest waiting times since NHS records began.

In January, a new standard came into effect ensuring all patients in the NHS in England will be treated within 18 weeks.

In Devon this target was met 10 months early, and the median wait is just 7.6 weeks for patients who require admission to hospital and 6.2 weeks for patients not needing admission - an achievement which was unimaginable 10 years ago.

Nationally the NHS met its commitment six months ago to ensure that 90 per cent of patients who require admission to hospital and 95 per cent of patients not needing admission, start treatment within 18 weeks of referral from their GP.


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Time spent waiting is important to patients which is why the NHS made it a priority to reduce waiting times. This has made a significant difference to the treatment experience of millions of patients:

* Over 250,000 patients have a cataract removed every year. The average referral to treatment time for these patients has reduced by half, from 14 weeks in January 2007 to 7 weeks in January 2009.

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* Hardness of hearing and deafness affect the lives of large numbers of people. 99 per cent of Devon patients referred directly to audiology services were seen within 18 weeks, with an average wait from referral to treatment is now just 6.5 weeks.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said: "I would like to congratulate staff at Devon PCT on their fantastic performance against the 18 weeks target, particularly the impressive reduction in waiting times of 99 per cent for ophthalmology (of which a large proportion is cataracts) and 98 per cent for ear, nose and throat procedures.

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