Journal article

Do English NHS waiting time targets distort treatment priorities in orthopaedic surgery?

John Appleby, Seán Boyle, Nancy Devlin, Mike Harley, Anthony Harrison, Ruth Thorlby

Journal of Health Services Research & Policy | Published : 2005

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To assess and quantify the impact of guarantees on maximum waiting times on clinical decisions to admit patients from waiting lists for orthopaedic surgery. METHODS: Before and after comparative study, analysing changes in waiting times distributions between 1997/8 and 2001/2 for waiting list and booked inpatients and day cases admitted for elective treatments in trauma and orthopaedics in English hospitals. RESULTS: The 2001/2 maximum waiting time target of 15 months did change the pattern of admissions for trauma and orthopaedic elective inpatients, with a net increase in admissions in that year, compared with 1997/8 (and over and above the 30,259 (7.6%) overall increase in all..

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