In response to the Public Accounts Committee report on NHS waiting times, David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, said:
“This hard-hitting report from the Public Accounts Committee shines a much-needed light on the worrying decline in NHS patients’ access to vital treatments such as hip replacements, cataracts and cancer care. Despite a clear legal commitment in the NHS Constitution, the 18 week target for elective care has not been met in over three years, leaving hundreds of thousands of NHS patients waiting in pain and discomfort for months on end.
“Having swift access to high quality care is a top priority for the public but the simple truth is that patients are waiting ever longer for NHS treatment whilst having no idea when vital legally binding targets will again be met.
“The government must heed the clear warnings expressed in this report and set out a clear plan for improving speed of access to NHS care, including by using the spare capacity available in the independent sector.”