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Hitting elective target ‘not in NHS’s control’, Sunak warned

The NHS Confederation chief says he will this week demand clarity about Rishi Sunak’s flagship waiting list reduction target, warning it may not be ‘the most sensible target [or] within the service’s control’.

Matthew Taylor also reflected in an exclusive interview with HSJ about a “pretty bruising” recent planning round for 2023-24.

Speaking ahead of the conference, which starts this week, he said he would ask Steve Barclay for “clarity” about “what exactly the government means when it talks about reducing waiting lists”.

The prime minister’s waiting list pledge is one of his frequently-referenced five priorities, which when he set them out in January stated: “NHS waiting lists will fall and people will get the care they need more quickly.”

But Mr Taylor said yesterday: “It’s a bit unclear to me… Does it mean the overall waiting list? Does it mean long waiters? And what about the other waiting lists that we don’t talk about [like psychiatric care for children]?”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 13 June 2023


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