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NHS spending makes no difference....again.

From the Government News Network:

Statistical press notice: Diagnostic test waiting times December 2006

The following statistics were released today by the Department of Health:

* Diagnostic test waiting times data: month ending December 2006

This data shows the NHS' progress in tackling the waiting times for diagnostic tests like scans. The monthly data published today gives the waiting times for 15 key diagnostic tests carried out in the NHS. This data will help the NHS in delivering the new 18 week maximum wait from GP to treatment, including all diagnostic tests, by 2008. More information, including a diagnostic data Q&A, is available via the 18 week website.

The figures from October 2006 now include a wider range of audiology tests, with one of the 15 tests now covering all audiology assessments, rather than Pure Tone Audiometry previously. This means that the monthly publication now covers a larger proportion of longer waiters, which should be noted when comparing with previous months.

Well, I thought, no crowing over the improved performance there. I wonder what the actual figures show. It actually takes a bit of digging, because the figures they release don't actually have comparative data on them. I wonder why. But if you put the current set of data (Dec 06) against the earliest available (Jan 06) you find that waiting lists for diagnostic tests are up by 1% from 804,000 to 814,000.

This is because the extra spending on health is being spent on staff benefits rather than improvements to the service. The sooner people realise that this is all that is happening, and all that is ever going to happen, the sooner we can get on with scrapping the whole disfunctional shambles.

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