At least 10 primary care trusts (PCTs) have told hospitals to increase the length of time before they see patients in order to save money, an investigation by The Daily Telegraph has found.
In some areas, patients endured delays of 12 or 15 weeks after GPs decided they needed surgery, even though hospitals could have seen them sooner.
The maximum permitted time between referral and treatment is 18 weeks. In one case a manager said the policy keeps patients in line as “short waiting times also create more demand for treatment due to the expectations this raises”.
It comes after an NHS watchdog suggested that if patients are forced to wait a long time, they will remove themselves from lists “either by dying or by paying for their own treatment”.
Monday, September 05, 2011
Britain's NHS watchdog prefers you die or pay for your own treatment
Posted by Ben Cunningham at 8:45 AM