NHS Waiting Times

NHS Waiting times are another big talking point at the moment. We use to monitor these on our old website and will began that task again shortly. Waiting times were thought to have decreased in many areas, but recent reports suggest otherwise.

What the NHS has to say

The NHS Constitution [1. Based on the documents first published on the 21st January 2009 and updated in March 2010] describes various Waiting Times and what Patients are entitled to.

This 90 page Handbook to the NHS Constitution which you can download as a PDF [2. If you don’t already have it, you will need to download the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader from here to read this file]  goes into quite a bit of detail, however, with regards to NHS Waiting Time it says that the Government pledges that there will be a…

  • a maximum 31-day wait for subsequent treatment where the
    treatment is surgery;
  • a maximum 31-day wait for subsequent treatment where the
    treatment is an anti-cancer drug regimen;
  • a maximum 62-day wait from referral for suspected cancer to first
    treatment for all cancers;
  • a maximum two-week wait to see a specialist for all patients referred
    for investigation of breast symptoms, even if cancer is not initially
  • a maximum four-hour wait in A&E from arrival to admission, transfer
    or discharge;
  • access to a primary care professional within 24 hours or a primary
    care doctor within 48 hours;
  • a maximum three-month wait for patients who need a
  • a maximum two-week wait for Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinics;
  • access to a genito-urinary medicine clinic within 48 hours of
    contacting a service;

With established benchmarks, you can now use another of the NHS data tools – NHS Choices – to check what the actual Waiting Times are for the type of treatment are seeking on a Hospital by Hospital and Consultant by Consultant basis as well as finding out what the outcomes are for recovery etc.

It is the reporting missed Waiting Times that has been discussed in the press in the last few weeks as a large number of NHS Trusts missed targets particularly with regards to the time spent in A&E.

More detailas about NHS Wating Times can be found here.

We will be updating this page with more information about Waiting Times so please revisit for any update.

Archived Data

Here is an Initial link to the NHS archived data (from the Digital National Archives) that contains detailed information about NHS waiting time from 2004 to 2010.

There is a lot of data here and it takes some digging to reach what you are looking for. Here are some steps that we followed to get information about previous to NHS Waiting Times data.

  1. Choose your month/year in this case February 2007
  2. Choose Waiting Times
  3. Choose what data you’re looking to see, in this case Provider Based Hospital Waiting List Statistics: England

As yet we have not been able to find links to the A&E NHS Waiting Times data for these periods. But we will update this page when we obtain the links to that data.

Here’s what we said about the NHS Waiting Times on our old Website – in PDF format.

This page will be updated regularly

Revisit this page as we look more in depth into Waiting Times.


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