Intended for healthcare professionals


Waits for diagnostic tests threaten 18 week treatment target

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 31 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:463
  1. Caroline White
  1. London

    Patients at some hospitals in England are still enduring “unacceptable waits” for routine diagnostic services, such as scans and blood tests, says the health watchdog body the Healthcare Commission. Although some substantial improvements have been made, performance varies widely, it says.

    Its review of radiology, pathology, and endoscopy services shows that just 16 of the 153 trusts surveyed achieved the highest rating of “excellent”—meaning that patients were kept waiting no longer than 13 weeks for diagnostic services—while 15 were awarded the lowest score of “weak.” The remainder were rated as “good” or “fair” in equal measure.

    The survey was …

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