NHS Waiting Times Graphs
Waiting times for orthopaedic surgery vary over time and between different parts of the country. Presenting this data transparently helps patients make decisions about their care
The NHS publishes monthly data on waiting lists around the country, but it can be difficult for patients to make sense of this data. At Medbelle we have analysed how waiting times are changing over time, and how they compare in different parts of the UK. This can help patients make decisions about their care, and get a better idea of how long they might be waiting for a procedure.
The graphs below cover waiting lists for the 'trauma and orthopaedic' category of procedures. This includes things like hip, knee, and spine operations - some of the most commonly needed treatments. These treatments can be life-changing by removing chronic pain or returning a patient's mobility, and it's vital that patients know the full picture if they need this sort of care.
The waiting list over time
This graph shows the waiting list for Orthopaedic and Trauma procedures in England over time. The bar shows the total size of the waiting list as reported by the NHS in that month, with the darker area showing how many people in that list have been waiting for longer than 18 weeks. This is the "referral to treatment" target for the NHS - patients should receive their treatment within 18 weeks of their initial referral.
Waiting lists across the country
This map shows the variations in waiting lists across the country. Waiting times can vary in different parts of the country for many reasons, which are not all down to the health service - they can be socio-economic as well. Each circle represents the size of the waiting list in that region, but that only tells part of the story. The figure below the total waiting list size shows us how big that is in proportion to the total population of that region - the latest data shows us that London has the smallest waiting list as a proportion of its population, and the Midlands has the largest.
Waiting list size alone doesn't tell us how long a patient is likely to be waiting, of course. The shaded area of each donut represents two metrics: the lighter area shows how many patients are waiting longer than the 18 week target, and the darker area shows us how many patients are waiting longer than a year. We can see from the latest data that patients are most likely to be waiting for over a year in South West England, and least likely in Yorkshire and the North East.