Headlines: January 4th, 1999

Hospital trusts that are reducing waiting lists are those that will share from the Government’s Performance Fund.An extra 32 million pounds, held back from the original waiting time fighting fund announced last year, is to go to those areas which are already succeeding.

Examples of good practice to be rewarded include a Coventry hospital which will use an extra two hundred thousand pounds to provide a second clean air theatre, significantly increasing the number of orthopaedic cases which can be treated.

And in Redbridge and Waltham Forest extra allocation will be invested in new surgical techniques to reduce the amount of invasive surgery required, especially for orthopaedic surgery.

Over half of all areas being awarded money plan to spend some of it on providing more outpatient appointments which will further reduce the length of time patients have to wait after being referred to hospital by their GP.

There’ve been political accusations that the waiting time between a seeing a specialist and being treated is being cut, while waiting times to see the specialist in the first place are growing.