Patients in the capital are being treated faster than ever before according to new figures published today.
The figures show that the time patients wait is a key performance indicator, and is consistently one of the highest priorities for Londoners when judging the health care they receive.
Sara Coles, NHS London’s Performance Director said; “There has been excellent improvement towards meeting the national 18 week targets. I’m delighted that most London trusts have now met the targets and in many specialties exceeded them, for example in ophthalmology, more than 95% of London patients requiring a hospital admission were treated within 18 weeks of being referred by their GP. Just two years ago fewer than 40% of ophthalmology patients were being treated within 18 weeks with many having long waits for their cataract operations.
“NHS staff have worked hard to deliver these improvements for patients but there is more to do. Although overall in London we have hit the 18 week targets we expect all trusts to achieve it from April onwards and continue to reduce waits in all specialties.”
The national target requires 90% of admitted patients and 95% of outpatients to be treated within 18-weeks and 95% of non-admitted patients. Setting the target below 100% means there is some flexibility for patients who choose not to start their treatment within 18 weeks. In January 2009 more than 170,000 patients were treated within 18 weeks of being referred from their GP.