Responding to the publication of NHS England’s “Clinically-led review of NHS access standards”, David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, said:
“It is vital that any future changes to NHS waiting times targets do not dilute patient access to care. The introduction of the 18 week target for elective care was instrumental in cutting waiting times for millions of patients from almost two years to just a matter of weeks.
“NHS waiting times targets must be easily understood by patients and the wider public, as well as robustly enforced. While we do welcome the review’s commitment to strengthen the rights of patients to select an alternative provider if they are waiting more than six months, we are clear that any broader changes to the 18 week target will need careful consideration and first and foremost be driven by the needs of patients.”