Waiting times

Emergency access: A&E waiting times

The national target, set by the Department of Health, requires that 95% of patients attending an accident and emergency (A&E) departments must be seen, treated, admitted or discharged in under four hours.

Our year-to-date performance in 2018-19 is: 93.0% (as at April 2018).

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Cancer: treatment started within 31 days of decision to treat

For patients with cancer, starting treatment promptly is important. The Department of Health has set a national target of 96% for treatment to commence within 31 days of a decision to treat being made. 

Our  performance for 2017-18 was 98.1% (as at March 2018).

Cancer: treatment started within 62 days of urgent GP referral

The  62 day (two month) referral to treatment system was introduced so that cancer patients would receive treatment as soon as possible, but no more than two months after an urgent GP referral.

There are national guidelines for GPs to use to make a decision about whether it is appropriate to refer patients for an appointment within two weeks; and we have a responsibility to start the treatment of at least 85% of cancer patients within that time (national Department of Health target).

Our performance for 2017-18 was 84.9%% (as at March 2018).

Referral to treatment in 18 weeks

In the early 1990s, waits of more than six months for a first outpatient appointment were not uncommon, and tens of thousands of people waited more than two years for an operation. Since December 2008, it has been our aim for patients to be seen for treatment in 18 weeks or less from referral; unless they choose to delay treatment or there is a clinical reason why they should wait longer.

This access standard covers the waiting time for consultant-led elective care, which monitors the length of time from referral through to elective treatment. 

Amongst the patients still waiting to start treatment at the end of the month, it shows the proportion of those waiting within 18 weeks from referral.

The threshold is 92%.

Our performance for April 2018 is 86.7%.

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