In a drive to slash NHS waiting lists, the Government has created a new team of List Busters, which is to be spearheaded by Peter Homa, CEO of Leicester Royal Infirmary.
The team will work with both health authorities and NHS Trusts in an attempt to find new ways of tackling the record waiting lists.
Among the initiatives to be set up by the List Buster team is a pilot scheme which will ensure patients needing day surgery book the date of their operation.
Homa said that the responsibilities ahead would be challenging: “Our task includes working with colleagues in the NHS to help modernise the delivery of patient care as we move into the next millennium.”
He added: “Success will depend on drawing upon the many excellent ideas and practice already developed by staff in the NHS.” Commenting on the new team, Prime Minister Tony Blair said: “Waiting lists are unacceptably high. But I am determined we will keep our pledge to have reduced them by 100,000 by the next election. And we have found extra cash for the NHS – £2 billion extra within the first year of power.”
But Blair added: “Money alone is not enough to bring down waiting lists.
“We also need to make sure the money is used effectively and to carry on modernising the NHS so that it provides the best possible service to patients.”