By Anthony Harrison and Bill NewThe authors argue that the national waiting list diverts attention away from the issues that matter most to patients. By focusing simply on the number of people waiting for treatment after seeing a hospital consultant the list ignores the time people are waiting and the severity of their need. They propose that the list should be replaced by a new system which sets out NHS priorities clearly and ensures people with the most pressing needs are treated most urgently. They outline how a framework should be built with a national system of thresholds that could be used to determine how quickly a person should receive treatment when the need is diagnosed.
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