NHS waiting times go up

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New figures last night showed that the number of National Health Service patients waiting for more than a month for an operation has gone up. The figures came as Labour cancelled MPs' leave for a Commons vote tonight attacking the Government over the crisis in the NHS.

Labour said the figures showed that over a year, there was an 8.3 per cent increase in cancelled operations from 49,691 to 53,816 and a 12.6 per cent increase in patients waiting more than one month, from 5,502 to 6,196.

The Government is expected to accuse Labour of misrepresenting the figures, which, for the second quarter of 1996-97, show that compared to the previous year, there was a small increase in the number waiting, but cancelled operations were slightly down.