Claims of 40% waiting list increase incorrect – Special Delivery Unit
A recent front page claim, in a national Sunday newspaper, suggesting a 40% increase in the number of adults waiting over six months for inpatient treatment over the last two years is totally incorrect.
The article, under the title “Hospital waiting lists up 40% under coalition”, claimed that in contrast to March 2011 when 9,643 adults were waiting for a planned hospital procedure, the figure stood at 13,435 in March of this year.
This is not correct. The number of people waiting over 6 months in March of 2013 was actually 10,002*. The actual difference between the figures for March 2011 and March 2013 is 3.72%.
A further analysis of the figures published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) shows that while 10,002 persons were waiting over six months in March 2013, some of those same persons had been waiting over 9 months (2,947) and some of the same persons over 12 months (486).
If you add those three figures together you get 13,435, which is the same figure used in the Sunday newspaper article. However the effect is to count 3,433 people twice.
* National Trend Analysis of Waiting Times NTPF