The longest you should wait until you start your treatment having being referred by your GP is 18 weeks - that is, unless you choose to delay treatment or there is a clinical reason why you should wait longer. Often, you will wait less than this. Any hospital appointments, tests, scans or other procedures that you may need before being treated should all happen within this time limit.
In the NHS the phrase used is "referral to treatment". This is the time a patient waits from initial referral, for example by a GP, to the start of treatment, sometimes as an outpatient and sometimes admission to hospital.
There are clear rules about measuring referral to treatment waiting times, and what has to be completed within 18 weeks. It is about delivering the right care, at the right time, of the right quality and without unnecessary delays. There are clear rules about measuring how long patients will wait and what is included in the 18 weeks.
More can be found on the Guide to waiting times on the NHS Choices website.
Below, we publish every month the latest key data - along with data from a year ago - about the number of patients being treated at our hospitals, our referral to treatment data, our waiting times and our infection figures.
For December 2017
The Trust had 7,884 Accident & Emergency Department attendances in December and 81.44% of them were seen, treated or discharged within the four hour standard. The target is to achieve 95%.
For December, 82.17% of our patients were seen within the 18 week referral to treatment incomplete patient pathways target. The target is to achieve 92%.
0.67% of our patients waited 6 weeks or more for a key diagnostic test. The target is to achieve less than 1%.
Of all the urgent suspected cancer referrals, 97.9% met the two-week maximum wait from GP urgent referral to first outpatient appointment.
In December, there were:
You can read more about how we tackle infection here.