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:

  • Information on how you can look up an average waiting time for your specialty.
  • Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) you may have, including what to do if your condition gets worse.
  • How to manage your physical health and mental health while you wait and any long-term conditions you may have.
  • Dedicated advice if you are waiting for orthopaedic surgery on your shoulder, wrist, hip or knee.
  • Dedicated advice if you are waiting for a gastroenterology investigation, such as a colonoscopy or gastroscopy.
  • Dedicated advice if your child is waiting for a hospital appointment or treatment.

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. Hospitals are working together to treat people as quickly as possible but you may still 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 exactly. You can however look up an average waiting time at your local hospital by visiting My Planned Care.

The average waiting time on My Planned Care is currently the best indication of how long you may wait. It should be noted that this will give you an average for the specialty you are waiting for. The waiting time for different procedures within that specialty will be different.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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: 15/08/2023

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?
What if I am unable to get to the hospital for my appointment or surgery?

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