NHS Diagnostic Waiting List nearly Double locally

26 Oct 2023

- The waiting list for diagnostic tests - like MRI and CT scans - in West Hertfordshire rose between June 2019 and July 2023 by 5,574 to 11,299.

- NHS target: less than 1% of people should be waiting more than 6 weeks for these tests - in July, a third (30.5%) of patients in West Hertfordshire waited 6 weeks or longer

- Victoria Collins, Lib Dems parliamentary candidate for Harpenden and Berkhamsted is calling for an expansion of community diagnostic centres and the legal right to see your GP in seven days 

NHS waiting lists in West Hertfordshire for basic diagnostic tests - including MRI and CT scans - grew by 97% between June 2019 and July 2023, up to 11,299. The research from the House of Commons Library, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, also shows that over 30% of people waited more than 6 weeks for one of these tests in July (the NHS target is less than 1%).

The 15 types of tests that make up the list provided by the Commons Library include MRIs, CT scans, Echocardiography, and DEXA scans. For MRIs, the waiting list in West Hertfordshire increased from 2019 to 2023 by 27%, up to 1,691 in July 2023. For CT scans, it shot up by 737 to 1,597 in July.

The proportion of people waiting over six weeks for a diagnostic test is well above the NHS target of less than 1%. In July, in West Hertfordshire it sat at 30.5%, over 30 times higher than the target. The percentage of people waiting more than six weeks has also spiked since 2019, from 0%  in June 2019, to 30.5% in July. 

Victoria Collins and the Liberal Democrats are calling for an expansion of community diagnostic centres to bring services closer to where people live and ensure they can be seen far quicker.

The party is also calling for the right for everyone to see their GP in seven days by increasing the number of appointments and the number of GPs by 8,000. The Lib Dems have also called for investment in new hospital equipment to ensure that patients get the first-class treatment that they deserve.

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Harpenden & Berkhamsted, Victoria Collins said:

“What this Conservative government has done to the NHS is nothing short of a national scandal. Thousands of patients in West Hertfordshire are forced to wait in pain and discomfort, anxiously wondering when they will get a diagnosis, let alone treatment. 

“Ministers are missing in action in this NHS crisis, and it’s patients in West Hertfordshire who are suffering. We need urgent action to get on top of this mess, end these appalling delays and ensure our community gets the local health services that we deserve.”

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