Still playing the waiting game… new NHS statistics revealed

Print Friendly

Whatever happens within the NHS, one thing certainly remains a hot topic…treatment waiting lists; how long are, who gets priority and what we can do (if anything) to reduce them.

Lengthy waiting lists within the NHS are a result of three modern day circumstances: 1) our rapidly growing population, 2) the fact that we’re all living a lot longer and 3) the increase in the number of people needing treatment for multiple, coexisting and often lifestyle-related conditions (comorbidities). So are increasingly long waiting lists an inevitable fact we have to accept? Or could there be another solution?

No matter what your personal opinion is on the NHS, it can’t be denied that the whole concept of free healthcare for all is a great one. We fare pretty well in comparison with the healthcare systems of other countries too; in a study conducted by the Commonwealth Fund in 2010, the NHS was deemed to be the best system in terms of efficiency, effective care and cost-related problems when compared to Australia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and USA In addition, in 2012 the Care Quality Commission inpatient satisfaction survey revealed that 81% of over 60,000 respondents rated their overall experience as 7 out of 10 or higher. However, the continual squeeze on NHS budgets means the challenge of maintaining national standards is harder than ever.

Statistics on NHS Consultant-led Referral to Treatment (RTT) waiting times are published monthly by NHS England and are supplied by almost all hospitals. The latest report highlights the figures for January 2014 and, at a glance, the results seem promising:

  • During January, 90.4% of admitted patients and 96.3% of non-admitted patients started treatment within 18 weeks.
  • The average (median) time waited for patients completing an RTT pathway in January 2014 was 9.4 weeks for admitted patients and 5.8 weeks for non-admitted patients. For patients waiting to start treatment at the end of January 2014 the median waiting time was 6.2 weeks.

Now, although these numbers may sound reasonable, overall 2.9 million patients were waiting for treatment in January 2014 which is up by 362,000 from the 2.538 million seen in the same month in 2013. In addition, 45,000 more patients were not treated within 18 weeks, compared to January in the previous year.

What’s more, these figures do not take into consideration the time taken from getting your first GP appointment to receiving a referral and seeing your specialist. This in itself can drag on and extend your overall time on the treatment pathway significantly.

The obvious way to combat waiting lists is to opt for private care. But the high cost of doing so means that this is simply not an option for many of us, so is there another way? Well a new concept in healthcare delivery is now giving NHS patients the opportunity to bypass the GP referral stage of the treatment pathway completely, which could mean huge reductions in waiting time. The service, called ‘’, is membership only but, unlike insurance policies or cash plans, it is open to all, regardless of age or health status. Members pay a small yearly fee (which can be spread out over monthly payments if preferred) and gain access to some of the UK’s top consultants, whenever they need them. To find out more visit

The following two tabs change content below.
Hello ... I am the Creative Director and Website Editor for Silversurfers and manage all the social media too. I hope you find the features and articles we have shared with you of interest and relevance. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us ... I hope you enjoy Silversurfers and all that we offer ...

Latest posts by Silversurfers Editor (see all)

Not a member?

Join the silversurfers community today! It's free, easy to do, and is packed full of features and amazing offers!

Join the community!
Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!

More Health Features

Are you at risk of Pneumonia? shutterstock_240913606- lungs 900 x 550
Are you at risk of Pneumonia? We all are. Pneumonia can strike anyone, at any age, at any time...
What can you do about cystitis after the menopause? Closeup of pencil eraser and black cystitis text. Cystitis. Pencil with eraser.
You may be surprised to be suffering repeated episodes of cystitis when you thought it was a young...
Grab Your Fenetic Sprint for Active Aging Week Grab Your Fenetic Sprint for Active Aging Week
Come along for the ride, get involved in Active Aging Week this September by cycling to your...
Keep your blood pressure in check for Know Your Numbers Week doctor checking blood pressure with stethoscope and sphygmomanom
It’s Know Your Numbers Week; a campaign by Blood Pressure UK that encourages people to help...
Incontinence - It’s No Laughing Matter Lifestyle image
The sudden desperate urge to go to the toilet when away from home is something many people face...
10 tips for maintaining your dental health in the later stages of your life toothbrush-571741_960_720
Many older people have worries about their dental health and preserving their smile - indeed, many...
A Self Help Guide To Managing Menopausal Symptoms MENOPAUSE
Menopause is the time of life when a woman’s period of fertility comes to an end...
Celebrate No Smoking Day on the 9th of March No smoking signs
If you're trying to give up smoking, you're supporting a friend or family member who wants to quit...
Could a stairlift prevent you from having to move house? stairlifts-Washington_OakTree
If taking the stairs is beginning to get a little strenuous, it might not be too long until you...
Get holiday health savvy this summer Travel concept. Sunbed sunglass  map beach shoes sunscreen passport air tickets beach ball hat and old red suitcase for travel on the beach.
Whether you’re heading on that holiday of a lifetime or taking the grandkids on an adventure...
Buying an Adjustable Bed electric-adjustable-beds-HazelBed_OakTree
The decision to buy an adjustable bed is usually an easy one to make, and most people know when...
Made to Measure Recliner reclining-chairs-OakChair_OakTree
Arthritis, a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints, currently affects around...