Hospital treatment targets have been simplified

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 05 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3090
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1The BMJ

Key NHS targets on waiting times for planned treatment in England are to be abolished, after healthcare leaders adjudged that they were creating “perverse incentives” that penalised patients.

In a letter to health service leaders NHS England’s chief executive, Simon Stevens, said that the current target for patients to receive planned treatment within 18 weeks of being referred by a GP would be simplified to reduce the number of targets from three to one.1

At the moment the target is measured against three standards: in a particular month, the percentage of patients admitted to hospital who started treatment within 18 weeks of referral; the percentage of patients who weren’t admitted who started treatment within 18 weeks; and the percentage of patients …

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