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NHS England patients wait up to two-and-a-half years for an MRI

Some patients in England are waiting up to two-and-a-half years for important diagnostic tests such as ultrasound, MRI and CT scans, according to figures seen by the Guardian.

The longest waits were two-and-a-half years for an MRI scan, almost two years for an ultrasound and a year for a CT scan, responses to freedom of information requests by the Liberal Democrats show.

People with heart problems are among the worst affected. Examples from NHS trusts included a 49-week wait for an echocardiogram and a 475-day wait for an angiography.

Under the NHS constitution, patients should wait less than six weeks for diagnostic tests. The target is for only 1% to wait more than six weeks, but now 25% of all patients do so, according to research from the House of Commons library, commissioned by the Lib Dems.

Ed Davey, the leader of the Lib Dems, said: “What this Conservative government has done to the NHS is nothing short of a national scandal. Millions are forced to wait in pain and discomfort, anxiously wondering when they will get a diagnosis, let alone treatment.

“We cannot fix our economy without fixing our NHS. People can’t get back to work when they’re stuck waiting to see a GP, get a diagnosis or start treatment. The longer they wait, the worse their health gets and the greater the stress for themselves and their loved ones."

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Source: The Guardian, 24 September 2023


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