WHAT a curious world the NHS lives in. The PCT, the body which governs and pays for NHS primary care treatment in Craven, is spending more than it should. The reason is that our hospitals are, it seems, too efficient.

Instead of the long waiting lists of just a few years ago now our hospitals are treating patients with less serious ailments "significantly ahead of the six month waiting list target".

This has played havoc with the PCT's budgeting and so it has "informed our partners in the hospital trusts of the detrimental effect this is having on our finances and (we) have made local GPs aware of the situation". It has asked that non-urgent cases are treated in hospital "within the six month target but not more quickly". In other words, slow down. Make people wait to see the consultant (unless it is urgent).

And we thought the idea was to mirror the much-trumpeted Continental practice of hospitals treating patients within days of first seeing a GP.