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NHS still struggling on waiting

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Almost half of patients needing a hospital admission waited longer than 18-weeks from the point of referral to treatment in August.

According to the Department of Health figures, 44% of patients waited over the proposed 18-weeks target for their hospital stay.

However, the figure has improved by 8% since March. Patients needing treatment but not an admission did slightly better, with 76% being dealt within the timescale.

The DH is publishing the date to show trusts how much work has to be done before the 18-week wait becomes a national target in December 2008.

Health minister Ben Bradshaw said: 'Ten years ago it was common for people to wait 18 months for an operation. Since then, the NHS has come a long way and it is making good progress towards effectively ending waiting next year.'

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