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Our quality story

The maximum time for any treatment to start

If your GP refers you to our hospitals we aim to see you as soon as possible.

Nationally, the maximum waiting time from referral by your GP to the start of treatment is 52 weeks (unless your GP suspects you have cancer – see Maximum waiting times for cancer for more information).

We have set ourselves a target that no patients will wait more than 40 weeks even for the most specialist treatments which only hospitals such as Guy’s and St Thomas’ provide.  

What's the standard?

No patient should have to wait more than 52 weeks for their treatment to start – and most patients will have their treatment much more quickly.

How are we doing?

Our recent performance:

  • December 2019 – 97 of our patients were waiting more than a year to begin treatment
  • November – 103
  • October – 102.

We are working hard to meet the standard, for example by increasing weekend and evening work.

This measure includes a number of patients who have chosen to wait longer for a more convenient treatment date.

Find out more

For more information about waiting times, see the NHS website.

Got a question?

If you have a question about or comment on this information, please contact the communications team at

of our patients were waiting more than a year to begin treatment in December 2019.

How you can help us


We aim to minimise any delays. You can help us by letting us know immediately if you are unable to keep your appointment. We will then offer you an alternative date and give your appointment to another patient.

You can change your appointment online or by phone.


Page last updated: February 4 2020