NHS Waiting Times

  Quickbeam 16:57 28 Jul 2010

are always getting bad press. But I've just returned from taking 83 year old mater for a consultation at the hospital eye clinic.

Her timetable was;
The optician recommended that she see the GP about cataract treatment 3 weeks ago.
The GP referred her to the eye clinic 2 weeks ago.
Today the eye consultant approved her for the first cataract operation to be done within 2 months, and a second one with 6 weeks of the first.

That's quite good I think.

  BT 17:08 28 Jul 2010

I don't know where you live but here in Norwich that sort of timetable is about the norm. I had mine done very quickly after the first referral.
Interestingly we have to be referred by an eyecare professional not a GP. I was referred by the Diabetic eyecare unit when they came around to our Surgery.

Norfolk And Norwich hospital does more Cataract Ops than any other in the country. Over 5000 a year.

Its lifechanging, I've had both mine done. The first one at Kings College in London for which I had to wait nearly 2 years. Second one in Norwich done within 3 months.

No complaints from me.

  john 52 17:58 28 Jul 2010

So labour did improve some things then ??? :-)

  Quickbeam 18:00 28 Jul 2010

I doubt that Cameron can claim for this one.

  Forum Editor 18:13 28 Jul 2010

perhaps the credit - if any is due - should go to the people who run the hospital involved?

It's easy to get into the habit of thinking that our politicians are to blame for everything bad related to public services, or conversely that they should get the praise when things go well. The truth of course, is that there are thousands of talented, hard-working, dedicated public servants who do their best with the resources at their disposal. They rarely get the praise they're probably due, and at the moment huge numbers of them must be as worried as hell about their jobs.

Maybe we should spare them a thought, and the occasional word of thanks.

  Quickbeam 18:37 28 Jul 2010

You're quite right FE, it was the efficiency of the GP and hospital consultant that pleased her. She didn't expect to have it done much before the year was out.

  john 52 19:17 28 Jul 2010

I agree completely !! if you believed everything you read in the papers public servants spend half there time wasting it and very many do an excellent job and are conscientious and go beyond what is expected of them !! just think how demoralising it must be for them to have to read such rubbish !!

Forum member
That's nothing whatever to do with politicians at national level and everything to do with individuals. The NHS is run by people, in case you hadn't noticed, and different people have different abilities.

Are these the same people who run it 20 years ago and a 2 year wait was not unusual !! Forum member you are an intelligent person do you not think it may be down to funding provided to our health service

why you described my comment as a stupid comment I do not know!! perhaps you would explain to me ???
Do you not think the Labour Government did improved the health service !!yes they made mistakes but I was hoping some people would at last take there blinkers off and give some credit were it was deserved .
While I do not agree with many things the coalition government has done I realise that some things they have done have corrected a Labour mistakes

  john 52 21:32 28 Jul 2010


Of course there were improvements to the health service during Labour's time in office. You really would have to be a moron to suggest that a government set out to make things worse.

Thank you for acknowledging that improvements had been made !!

The treatment people get on the NHS is dictated by the spending a government makes while in power or is willing to make !! If any Government wanted to it could make the NHS the best service in the world but that would cost a lot of money and take many years !!Just as cost dictates what drugs that are available to the patients !!
Your suggestion that you really would have to be a moron to suggest that a government set out to make things worse is incorrect !!Each government in power will have there priority on what they spend there money on so it is political subject !!
The main point I was making was because money had been put into the NHS over the last 13 years the improvement in waiting times was a political decision !! no matter how good the hospital staff are if they do not have the funds to provide the service the public want they are unable to do so !!Operations costs money !! and it was one of the main factors in the Conservatives losing the election in 1997 along with the British people who thought it was time for change

  ella33 22:58 28 Jul 2010

In our local area the waiting times were to the targets last year but people are now waiting three months for appointments..an 85 year old with a heart complaint feeling very weak, was told at the end of May that she would see a consultant in August. Fortunately she had the good sense to keep phoning and had emergency surgery last week. She is now home and much better.
It is true that the hospitals are wonderful and her cure has been a tremendous thing but the initial appointment date was rather alarming

  michaelw 08:51 29 Jul 2010

...Yes, Labour made a political decision to reduce waiting times. In part that was because they could persuade people that waiting times were a measure of success of a health service...

Actually my experience with waiting times are at odds with the NHS guideline waiting times. Currently hospitals have to start treating patients within 18 weeks of referral - or in the case of cancer patients, within two weeks - but sometimes, because of waiting lists and further complications, this doesn't happen.

My brother had prostate cancer. Because the tumour was growing all the time he was waiting for the op, which took place 4 months later (not 2 weeks), he had to have a lot more removed than he would have had if the guidelines had been adhered to. The hospital he was referred to has two surgeons, both of which were on holiday at the same time which contributed to the delay.

My own reflex gut problem entails me having an annual endoscopy. My last op was on May 18th and an initial post-op consultation was due to take place on July 22nd. Now that has been postponed until August 24th.

So while I'm pleased for anyone who benefits from the target guidelines my own experiences are very different.

  john 52 09:17 29 Jul 2010

Forum member
At my wife's appointment, yesterday, the doctor had to walk from one side of the hospital to the other to see if the results of a scan done in another hospital were available and then, when they weren't she had to telephone to get the information.

I am surprised that your Hospital does not have the ability to access the scan results on the consultants computer !! Our hospital does and is there almost as quick as the scan has been done

Forum member your comments are strange as if you are a private patient and you are paying you are seen when you want !!
I admit the out of hours service is a shambles but I am sure that was in line for a revamp in the next parliament !!
The bottom line is if the health service is not provided with the money to do the job it is intended to do it cannot provide the service the patient wants .
If you are honest in your comments you will agree the NHS was near to collapse prior to 1997 and a back door private health insurance was on the cards
Whatever funds that are provided to the NHS they will still try to provide the best service they can!! but as I said before treatment costs money and your remarks about preventive treatment being the way forward the previous government has done more than any other government in this field of medicine

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