- The War on Waiting for Hospital Treatment (Harrison and Appleby 2005) examined the government's record on reducing the number of people on waiting lists for elective care in England, and the time they had to wait. This briefing provides an update on that analysis. The waiting times targets currently in place were first set in 2000 in the NHS Plan (Department of Health 2000). By 2005, when The War on Waiting for Hospital Treatment was published, the total number of people waiting to be treated in hospital, and the maximum time they had to wait, had dropped below levels seen in 2000. Since 2005, this progress has been maintained. The number of people waiting is now at 674,222: the lowest figure since records were first collected on the current basis (Department of Health 2007). The number of people waiting for more than six months to be treated - the current maximum wait - has been reduced to less than 436 at the end of May 2007, and waits of more than 18 months have been eliminated entirely.