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Health secretary announces drive to clear 12 month waiting list backlog

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g5011 (Published 05 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5011
  1. Caroline White
  1. 1London

The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has told NHS hospitals in England to clear their “unacceptable” backlog of patients who have been waiting more than 12 months for treatment, even if this means breaching the 18 week referral to treatment target for other patients.

In a speech to staff at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford on 4 August, the health secretary said that it was “unacceptable” for patients who were in pain or discomfort to wait a long time for their treatment.1 “No one should have to wait more than a year for treatment” without good reason, he said, adding that he wanted the numbers to be “as close to zero as possible.”

As of May …

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