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Orthopaedic patients bottom of the list

Patients who need orthopaedic treatment wait longer than any others to receive NHS attention, research shows.

The UK Department of Health has today published its waiting lists, showing that just 25% of trauma and orthapaedic patients are treated within the 18-week government target.

Receiving better treatment within the 18-week slot are 37% of oral surgery patients, 61% of cardiology patients and top of the table, 80% of those requiring geriatric medicine.

“There is an urgent need to improve NHS treatment for orthopaedic patients. These results are extremely worrying,” said John Davis at Medical Technology Group.

Innovative technologies are offering orthopaedic patients cost effective treatment choices, it’s just getting hold of it which is hard.

If interim targets of 85–90% of patients to be treated within 18 weeks is to be met by March 2008, experts say it is essential to increase clinical staffing levels and provide funding for orthopaedic care.