A guide to waiting times

The national standard is that you should receive your first treatment within 18 weeks of being referred to hospital by your GP.

The 18 week period normally begins when your letter of referral for treatment arrives at one of our hospitals. The exception to this is where you have already been seen by another consultant surgeon or physician elsewhere and referred on to one of our hospitals for further assessment and treatment.

You may be offered treatment straight away or referred for further tests.

Your treatment

Your treatment may include any of the following:

  • advice on your condition
  • medication or a change of medication
  • starting a course of treatment that may require several visits to hospital
  • an admission to hospital for an operation

There may be still times when your treatment cannot start straight away:

  • If your consultant wants to monitor your condition over a longer period
  • If you need more time to consider whether you want to go ahead with treatment.

Current waiting times 

Patients should be aware that in some specialisms they may face significant waiting time at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust.

For adults there are significant waits for appointments and treatment in:

  • abdominal surgery and medicine
  • neurology and neurosurgery
  • pain management and
  • spinal surgery.

In paediatric services there are significant waits for appointments and treatment in:

  • clinical immunology and allergy
  • ear nose & throat
  • rheumatology
  • urology.

The local NHS is making sure patients are aware that they can choose to have treatment at alternative hospitals that may have shorter waiting times.

Local GPs are aware of the issue and are receiving regular detailed updates so that they can help patients make an informed choice about where they will be treated.

Information will also be included in individual patient waiting list letters, so that people will know which specialties have significant waiting times and can plan accordingly.