Intended for healthcare professionals


Waiting times for tests show sharp rises since targets were relaxed

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 13 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d254
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

A sharp rise in the number of people waiting for crucial diagnostic tests since NHS targets were relaxed last summer has been shown in new government figures.

The number of people waiting more than six weeks for diagnostic tests in England rose by 63% between June and November of last year from 3510 people to 5737.

The figures from NHS commissioners look at numbers of people waiting for one of 15 tests including magnetic resonance image scans, ultrasounds, computed tomograms, colonoscopies, barium enemas, and echocardiograms.

Experts say this may show the start of a growing trend in waiting times, but the figures overall are a small proportion of people treated by the …

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