While You Wait

Advert about waiting for a hospital appointment or operation?

The backlog from the Covid-19 pandemic and workforce challenges have meant that some operations and procedures have had to be postponed, leading to understandable concern for those waiting. The NHS is working hard to get people seen as quickly as possible.

The NHS Constitution gives you the right to receive your non-urgent, consultant-led treatment within 18 weeks from the day your appointment is booked through the NHS e-Referral Service, or when the hospital or service receives your referral letter. However, this does not apply if you choose to wait longer, or it is clinically appropriate that you wait longer. Read more about the NHS guide to waiting times

About waiting times

Every effort is being made to reduce waiting times for patients. All our hospital teams across Norfolk and Waveney are working together to find ways to reduce waiting times with the aim of getting to you as soon as possible.

If you (or someone you care for) are waiting on delayed medical care, you are likely to have concerns and questions. Please read our leaflet for further information which includes contacts for the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) teams in our three local hospitals.

If you’ve got a question about waiting times, visit the FAQs page below.

You can also find information about waiting times for specific procedures at the My Planned Care website.

What you can do to help make sure your procedure goes ahead

If you’re waiting longer than you expected for your treatment or procedure, it’s even more important to use this time to get as healthy as you can. Take action to make sure that you are fit and ready for your procedure. This is essential to avoid complications during surgery and prepare for a successful recovery.

If you have a long-term health condition, it should be under control before your procedure. If you are not fit enough for surgery or your health condition is not under control, your procedure may be postponed.

The Royal College of Anaesthetists has developed “Fitter Better Sooner” resources, which can help you prepare for your surgery both physically and mentally.

Watch this video for some quick tips on what you can do to be ready for your procedure and improve your recovery period:

Keep moving to maintain your health

Find tips and ideas to help you make activity part of your daily routine.

Learn more

Healthy eating and drinking

Learn how important a healthy diet is before and after your procedure.

Learn more

Stop smoking

Quitting is one of the best things you can do to prepare, and recover quickly.

Stop today

Take care of your mental health

Learn how you can reduce anxiety and find local services to help.

Learn more


Find information about waiting times, getting ready for treatment, and more.

Learn more