The 18-week rule
You have a right to access services within maximum waiting times. This means patients have the right to start consultant-led treatment within 18 weeks from referral.
In the case of suspected cancer, patients should be seen by a specialist within two weeks of GP referral or, where this is not possible, the NHS should take all reasonable steps to offer the patient a quicker appointment at a range of alternative providers if the patient makes such a request.
No one should expect to wait more than 18 weeks from the time they are referred to the start of their consultant-led treatment, unless it is clinically appropriate to do so, or they choose to wait longer.
If you are concerned that you have been waiting longer than you should have for your treatment then please contact PALS.Guide to the NHS Constitution and waiting times
Our current maximum outpatient waiting times per speciality are:
|General and vascular surgery||5 weeks|
|General medicine||9 weeks|
We also offer fast track appointments where patients will be seen within 14 days if the GP or consultant feels this is appropriate. Urgent appointments are available much sooner if your GP or consultant thinks this is necessary.
In addition to the consultant-led services, we offer the following services led by allied health professionals or other appropriately qualified practitioners.
Current maximum waiting times:
|Audiology (over 55 year olds)||16 days|
|Audiology (all other patients)||6 weeks|