Hospital Waiting Times
If your GP needs you to see a specialist for an appointment or treatment, you can choose where to go from a range of NHS, private and independent hospitals across England.
This choice is available because the CCG buys routine inpatient, day-case and outpatient services (referred to as planned or elective care) from a number of hospitals across the country on behalf of the community.
You have the right to start treatment within 18 weeks from referral, unless you choose to wait longer or it's clinically appropriate that you wait longer.
Patients with urgent conditions such as cancer and heart disease will be able to see a specialist more quickly.
The BBC have produced a web-tracker that lets you check NHS cancer, A&E and operations targets in your area.
The most comprehensive source of waiting times information for routine appointments is NHS England's Referral to Treatment Times (RTT) data which is available on their web site.
It requires you to be familiar with spreadsheets so some instructions are below to help.
Interactive map of RTT waiting times in England
The following map allows you to look at specific specialties, as well as the total figures for RTT waiting times (for planned operations & care). Just click on the specialties drop down list and select the relevant medical team.
If you hover the mouse pointer over one of the coloured dots an information box will pop up about the relevant hospital information like the example below. If you click on the coloured doc a new tab will open up with some more detailed information.
In September 2017, there were 27,524 people waiting for a planned care treatment or procedure of some sort at the RD&E. The vast majority (92%) of people waited up to 20 weeks (5 months) for their treatment, although 2,966 people waited more than the national 18 week target set out in the NHS Constitution. One person had waited over 52 weeks.
It's important that these figures are used as indications of possible wait times as they cover every type of planned care treatment or operation across the entire hospital. Even within a speciality the numbers do not reflect the complex sub-specialisms that consultants deal with.
For more information please ask the DRSS team when booking your appointment. If they don't have more accurate information for your particular referral they will be able to find out more information for you from your chosen hospital.
Please note that there is no data being published at the moment for Northern Devon Healthcare Trust due to technical issues.
How to use the RTT SPREADSHEETS from NHS England
This RTT data is supplied by NHS England and is updated monthly. It is based on information provided to NHS England by local providers and hospitals and should be used as an indicator of possible waiting times rather than actual waits for an appointment or treatment. The information is at a specialty level and doesn't reflect the many services available at each hospital within that department.
Only hospitals that provide consultant led, or "secondary care", appointments provide this information to NHS England so not all local providers will appear on the list (for example Express Diagnostics or Sentinel Healthcare).
- Once you've clicked on the link above, select the latest month's data and open the 'Admitted Provider' spreadsheet. This only gives the waits for people who have to stay in hospital, but it is a good indicator of the expected waits.
- If you would like a fuller picture you also need to look at the 'Non-admitted Provider' spreadsheet.
- Click into one of the title boxes (the blue shaded cells) and add 'filters', as per following illustration
- This will give you the little arrow heads in the blue boxes (as per the illustration).
- Click on the arrow in the 'Provider Name' column deselect 'select all' and select which provider/s you are interested in. The local providers in Devon are:
- North Devon District Hospital (not currently showing due to technical difficulties)
- Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust (Derriford Hospital)
- Royal Devon and ExeterNHS Foundation Trust
- Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
- Do the same for 'Treatment Function' column to only see the specialty you are being referred to
- The 'Average' and '95th Percentile' are the two figures to look for as these tell you the current waits for 50-95% of patients.
The staff at DRSS will provide you with all the information we have available to us when you book your appointment (such as the indicative waiting times showing on the national e-Referrals System), or will find that information out for you from your chosen hospital.