Supporting you while you wait for hospital treatment

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant some operations and procedures have been postponed, leading to understandable concern for those waiting. The NHS is working hard to get people seen as quickly as possible.

If you (or someone you care for) are waiting on delayed medical care, you are likely to have concerns and questions. This site aims to provide further information and advice, along with handy resources, to help you manage your physical and mental wellbeing while waiting for hospital care.

This website includes:

  • How to stay as fit and healthy as possible while you wait for your treatment
  • Where to find any extra support online
  • Where to find further information about approximate waiting times at different hospitals
  • What to do if your condition deteriorates

We will provide updates to ensure the latest information is available, so please do check back on a regular basis.

Waiting Times

Waiting times will depend on what treatment you are waiting for and your individual needs.

NHS hospitals and the independent (private) sector hospitals are working together to increase the number of people who can be treated daily. You still may have to wait longer than usual.

The list of people waiting changes daily and it is very hard to tell you how long you will have to wait. However, with our ‘find hospitals page’ you can look up approximate waiting times at your local hospital by:

  • Using the Find hospitals page
  • Clicking on ‘Surgical Procedures’ or ‘Department’
  • Filling in Procedures or Department box
  • Entering the postcode of the hospital you have been referred to or your own postcode in the Location box.

Find more information in the ‘your questions answered’ section on this website.

The Patient Experience Library also has a useful Waiting List Tracker that enables patients to get information on waiting times for treatment in NHS Trusts in England. The data you find here is sourced from NHS England.

Waiting for your hospital care - Your questions answered

Here are a list of questions that you might be asking if you are waiting for an appointment, operation, other procedure or tests at a hospital. This refers to non-urgent or routine hospital care. Urgent care for things like cancer are prioritised differently and are not included as part of this document.

These FAQs will be updated regularly to ensure they contain up to date information and contacts.

Last updated: 28/09/2021

How are patients prioritisted on the waiting lists?
When will I be seen?/ How long will I have to wait?
How do I check waiting times at my hospital?
Why can’t you tell me exactly how long I have to wait?
What if my hospital appointment has come through but my condition is getting worse?
I have not received a hospital appointment and my condition has worsened, who do I contact?
I have new symptoms and I am concerned that they may not relate to my original condition, who do I contact?
Can my GP help me to be seen quicker?
My GP referred me to the hospital a while ago but I’ve heard nothing. Who can I contact to find out what is happening?
I’m on a waiting list but I don’t think I need the treatment any more.
Where can I go for benefits advice if waiting has an impact on my ability to work?
Where can I find out more information about my condition that might help me while I’m waiting?
Am I able to choose to be transferred to a different hospital in Greater Manchester or elsewhere? If I choose this, what would it mean – will I have to queue again/at the beginning?