Published: 17/04/2003, Volume II3, No. 5851 Page 23

It is very welcome that the Modernisation Agency is promoting clinically defined waiting list management (news, page 11, 20 March).

As the agency says, however, it is not 'new' and most trusts do not have to wait for a roll-out because they can implement it using the Checklist model.

The methods were piloted by Checklist in the late 1990s, and about 60 teams of NHS consultants have used them to draw up detailed urgency profiles for optimum waiting list management. This exercise strengthens co-operation between doctors and managers in reducing waiting times. The outputs also provide a basis for capacity planning towards achieving the targets.

We have a database of nearly 2,000 procedure-level recommendations by consultants and it shows a high degree of consensus, especially for common procedures.

If trusts or primary care trusts want to see how waiting times and capacity plans can be improved by managing them in line with clinical priorities, e-mail info@checklist. co. uk and we will send a free analysis.

Rob Findlay and Anthony Thompson Partners The Checklist Partnership