To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 January to Question 208907 on Hospitals: Waiting Lists, through what process the (a) A&E four-hour waiting time and (b) 18-week referral-to-treatment time targets may be changed; and if he will make a statement.
6 February 2019
The Government has been clear that through the Long Term Plan, the National Health Service must get back on the path to recovering performance. The plan is clear on proposals for updating urgent and emergency care, and expectations to reduce waits for planned operations. This will be supported by an extra £20.5 billion a year in real terms by 2023/24.
In addition, NHS England’s ‘Operational and Planning Guidance for 2019/20’ sets out deliverables against key performance areas and the Government expects the NHS to deliver these actions set – in full – as key steps towards fully recovering performance against core access standards.
We must ensure that the health system is focusing on the right, clinically appropriate targets. The ongoing NHS England Clinical Review of Standards will report its interim findings in spring 2019, followed by a period of testing and evaluating of any new or revised standards across the NHS before they are implemented. The review is considering standards for both physical and mental health.