Waiting list for diagnostic tests at hospitals serving Esher and Walton reached 16,000 in July - up 37% on 2019

26 Oct 2023

- The waiting lists for both MRI and CT scans at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital, one of the two main hospital providers for the constituency, doubled between June 2019 and July 2023 - with the MRI list rising from 747 to 1,641 and the CT list jumping from 2,269 to 4,740. At Kingston Hospital, the constituency’s other provider, the CT waiting list rose by over 50% from 1,855 to 2,530.

- NHS target: less than 1% of people should be waiting more than 6 weeks for these tests - in July, 14% of Kingston Hospital’s patients and 9% of Ashford and St Peter’s patients waited 6 weeks or longer.

- Elmbridge Lib Dems call for for an expansion of community diagnostic centres and the legal right to see your GP in seven days 

NHS waiting lists for basic diagnostic tests - including MRI and CT scans - at the two hospitals serving Esher and Walton grew by 37% between June 2019 and July 2023, up to 16,027. The list at Kingston Hospital reached 6,822 (up 35% from 2019) and at Ashford and St Peter’s it reached 9,205 (up 40% from 2019).

The research from the House of Commons Library, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, also shows that over 14% of people waited more than 6 weeks for one of these tests at Kingston Hospital in July (the NHS target is less than 1%).

The 15 types of tests that make up the list provided by the Commons Library include MRIs, CT scans, Echocardiography, and DEXA scans. The numbers of patients waiting for either an MRI or a CT scan at Ashford and St Peter’s more than doubled between June 2019 and July 2023, with the combined list rising from 3,010 to 6,381 - that’s an extra 3,371 people waiting for one of those two vital diagnostic texts.

At Kingston Hospital, the proportion of people waiting over six weeks for a diagnostic test is well above the NHS target of less than 1%. In July, it sat at 14%, significantly higher than the target. The percentage of people waiting more than six weeks has also spiked at Kingston since 2019, from 2.3% in June 2019, to 14% in July, a near six-fold increase. 

Elmbridge Liberal Democrats are calling for an expansion of community diagnostic centres to bring services closer to where people live and ensure they can be seen far quicker.

The party is also calling for the right for everyone to see their GP in seven days by increasing the number of appointments and the number of GPs by 8,000. The Lib Dems have also called for investment in new hospital equipment to ensure that patients get the first-class treatment that they deserve.

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Esher and Walton, Monica Harding said:

“What this Conservative government has done to the NHS is nothing short of a national scandal. Thousands of patients in Esher and Walton are forced to wait in pain and discomfort, anxiously wondering when they will get a diagnosis, let alone treatment.

“Ministers are missing in action in this NHS crisis, and it’s patients in Esher and Walton who are suffering. We need urgent action to get on top of this mess, end these appalling delays and ensure our community gets the local health services that we deserve.”


Notes to Editors

The House of Commons Library data can be found here

Notes from the House of Commons Library 

This data is published monthly as part of NHS England’s Diagnostic Waiting Times and Activity dataset.

The waiting time target for diagnostic tests is that, of those waiting for a test, under 1% should have been waiting for more than 6 weeks. Performance has been a long way from this standard since the pandemic. NHS England currently has a recovery target to reach performance of 5% by March 2025.


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