Praise for shortest NHS waiting times on record

Staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Cromer Hospital have today been praised for delivering the shortest waiting times since NHS records began.

In January, a new standard came into effect ensuring most patients in the NHS in England are treated within 18 weeks. At the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust this target was met in December 2008 and has been maintained since.

The average waiting time from the point of referral by a GP to treatment at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at the end of February was just 11 weeks – an achievement that was unimaginable 10 years ago.

Nationally the NHS met its commitment six months ago to ensure that 90% of patients who require admission to hospital and 95% of patients not needing admission, start treatment within 18 weeks of referral from their GP.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said: “I would like to congratulate staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on their fantastic performance against the 18 weeks target.”

Hospital chief executive Anna Dugdale said: “Ten years ago NHS patients were waiting years for routine operations and those waiting times have dropped dramatically to an average of just 11 weeks at our hospitals. Our staff deserve our thanks for working exceptionally hard to deliver and maintain the 18 week target.”

Notes to Editors:

1 The 18 weeks referral to treatment times statistics can be accessed at:

2. The 18 Weeks target was introduced in 2004 in the NHS Plan with a delivery programme starting in 2005. The 18 Week target levels are 90% for admitted patients and 95% for non-admitted patients to allow for patients who do not want to start their treatment within 18 weeks and patients for whom it is clinically appropriate to wait longer. It became the operational standard for the NHS from 1 January 2009.

Thursday 26th of March 2009 01:00:07 PM