Government may leave some patients out of 18 week target

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 15 November 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:1015
  1. Adrian O'Dowd
  1. Margate

    The government may adjust its 18 week target for treatment by the NHS in England so that it does not apply to all patients, a health minister said last week.

    The target of guaranteeing patients treatment within 18 weeks of being referred by their GP, first announced in 2004, is due to be met throughout England by December 2008.

    The health minister Ben Bradshaw, however, has now said in a radio interview that a “clarification” of the target was needed, to mean 90% of patients.

    Some patients may be “clinically justified” in waiting longer than 18 weeks for …

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