18 Weeks

18 Weeks

What is 18 Weeks?

The longest you will wait from being referred by your GP and starting your treatment will be 18 weeks. Any hospital appointments, tests, scans or other procedures that you may need before being treated will all happen within this maximum time limit.

Wherever possible your wait will be less than this, however, there may be times when you cannot begin treatment within 18 weeks, such as:

  • When you choose a later appointment for your treatment, perhaps because of work commitments or a holiday
  • When you are not medically fit to be treated for surgery to be carried out safely
  • When your condition requires an extended period of testing and observation before a diagnosis can be made. This will only happen occasionally. This is called watchful waiting or active monitoring

What are the benefits?

  • Earlier relief of symptoms, pain or discomfort
  • Coordinated tests and treatments, meaning fewer hospital visits
  • Reduced anxiety due to earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Find out more on the NHS Choices Website