Confidence in achieving the 18-week target was high among our panel of acute trust chief executives, with the average figure rising from 6.2 to 6.72 since October 2006.

Confidence in achieving the 18-week target was high among our panel of acute trust chief executives, with the average figure rising from 6.2 to 6.72 since October 2006.

When asked about passing the March 2008 milestone of getting 85 per cent of patients seen within 18 weeks, only 16 per cent scored 5 out of 10 or lower.

We also asked our panel about their confidence that the operating framework's model contract would improve local relationships between primary care and acute trusts. Three-quarters rated their optimism about its positive effects at 5 out of 10 or below.

TheHSJ Barometer surveys a panel of 70 acute trust chief executives. Figures show results at the end of December, while the graph indicates trends over time. The next Barometer of primary care trust chief executives will be published on 1 February.