The Special Delivery Unit (SDU) is working to unblock access to acute services by improving the flow of patients through the system, and by streamlining waiting lists, including the management of referrals from GPs by hospitals. The SDU is working closely with its partner agencies, mainly the HSE and the NTPF. As a priority, public hospitals were instructed to ensure that by the end of 2011, they had no patients waiting more than 12 months for treatment. I can confirm that the vast majority of hospitals achieved this objective. During 2012, the SDU will support hospitals in the delivery of a nine-month maximum wait time for inpatient or daycase surgery. As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply. If the patient's general practitioner considers that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he or she would be in the best position to take the matter up with the consultant and hospital involved.