NHS waiting times will rise after targets axed’

PUBLISHED: 11:10 24 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:04 25 August 2010

WAITING times will increase as a result of the coalition government s decision to scrap key NHS targets, according to a policy expert.

WAITING times will increase as a result of the coalition government's decision to scrap key NHS targets, according to a policy expert.

The government has axed targets introduced by New Labour including 48-hour access to GPs and the 18-week referral to treatment - though they will retain the two-week cancer rule.

Ministers have abandoned performance management of GP access with immediate effect, meaning Primary Care Trusts will no longer be able to pressure practices over their performance on extended hours or urgent care.

This comes after Trust bosses from Bexley, Greenwich and Bromley decided to close the accident and emergency unit at Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup, which the Times has campaigned against since 2007.

Policy expert Dr John Lister, from pressure group London Health Emergency, who has spoken out against the closure of the A&E in Sidcup, said: "If anybody felt that the Labour government hadn't improved anything, they will when they see the waiting list times go up and up.

"I am not a fan of targets per se, but this is really bad news. People who can afford it will be encouraged to go private.

"I was at a meeting recently with people from 10 or 11 different countries and they said they could not do better than the 18-week target."

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the changes would help drive down the management bill for Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities from its current level of £1.85 billion to £1 billion by 2013-14. Practices will no longer need to guarantee access to a GP within 48 hours and to a primary care professional within 24 hours.

Mary Broadhurst MBE, 74, who was director of midwifery at Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup from 1973 to 1993, said: "It is good to get rid of them. With the A&E targets, you weren't necessarily seen within four hours as you were just taken to an observation ward, which is just like an extension of A&E.

"People should be seen properly when they come through the door. I'm not sure that people received better care.

"It is insulting to doctors to say this is how we are going to do this and that. A lot of administrators decide what operations actually get done.


Latest Bexley news

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Kent head coach Matt Walker was disappointed to see his side outplayed by County Championship Division Two title rivals Warwickshire on day one of their match at Edgbaston.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A man from Bexley who was in a band in the 1960s last month had his dream come true when his former band members reunited to play at a charity dance.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Warwickshire took huge strides towards the Specsavers County Championship Division Two title by totally dominating the opening day against rivals Kent at Edgbaston.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Officers are appealing for information following an assault in Albany Park station.

Monday, September 24, 2018

The most popular names given to baby boys and girls last year in East London suggests that where you live could influence what name you choose for your child.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Bexleyheath based big cat keeper and author, Martin Hill, has released another picture book about the relationship between three young big cats.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Kent travel to Birmingham for their Specsavers County Championship Division Two title showdown with Warwickshire starting on Monday.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

We talk to hundreds of local business owners every day; we hear their concerns, understand their challenges and share in their successes.

Most read news

Digital Edition

Read the Bexley Times e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Bexley Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24