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NHS framework reintroduces target of treating 92% of patients within 18 weeks

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d7712 (Published 29 November 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7712
  1. Helen Mooney
  1. 1London

NHS trusts in England should treat 92% of patients waiting for treatment within 18 weeks, the government’s NHS Operating Framework for 2012-13 has specified.

The Department of Health has also ordered hospitals with patients on their books who have already been waiting longer than 18 weeks to review their “planned waiting lists” for all areas and specialties by the end of December.

Although the framework fails to stipulate an absolute maximum waiting time for patients, it says that “92% of patients on an incomplete pathway should have been waiting no more than 18 weeks” and that less than 1% of patients should …

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