Waiting times for diagnostic tests such as CT scans have improved in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), according to a new survey by the Department of Health (DoH).

The study looked into 15 key diagnostic tests carried out in the NHS to help the health service meet its 18-week GP referral to treatment target.

The number of NHS patients waiting more than six weeks for one of the key diagnostics tests at the end of May 2009 was 3,900, a decrease of 2.9% from April 2009, and a fall of 66.9% from May 2008.

The DoH survey found that 319 patients waited more than 13 weeks for a key test at the end of May 2009, an increase of 21.6% from April 2009, but a drop of 88.2% from May 2008.