Private Business Intermediaries

Referral for treatment is approximately 4 months on NHS

14/09/2012 | By Sharmila Chauhan
A report published by the Department of Health reports that waiting times for treatment have increased since last year. The study investigated the average time for consultant-led Referral to Treatment (RTT) during the month of July 2012 in England reported on both the length of waiting time and how many patients were seen within 18 weeks of referral.

The report found that the majority of patients (92.7% of admitted patients and 97.7% of out-patients) started treatment within 18 weeks. However this could be as low as 83% for patients requiring neurosurgery and trauma and orthopaedics and as high as 99.1% for geriatric medicine.

The average (median) time that patients waited to receive treatment recommended by a consultant was higher for admitted patients (8.5 weeks) compared to patients who were seen as outpatients (4.1 weeks). This is an increase from the same time last year when it was 8.2 weeks for admitted patients and 3.9 weeks for outpatients. 

Despite government promises to reduce waiting times, it seems that the health service is still struggling to keep waiting times within an acceptable limit. Patients may find faster and more convenient treatment using the private or independent health sector who can sometimes offer faster treatment.