The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

NHS Constitution

Waiting Times – our services and your rights

The NHS Constitution gives you the right to have your consultant-led treatment started within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral, unless you choose to wait longer, or if a longer wait is clinically appropriate.

Patients with urgent conditions such as cancer and heart disease will be seen and treated more quickly. For example, you have the right to be seen by a specialist within a maximum of two weeks from GP referral for urgent cases where cancer is suspected. We meet this standard for our cancer patients and monitor our performance on a weekly basis.

If it is not possible for you to be seen within the maximum waiting time, we must investigate and offer you a range of suitable alternative hospitals or community clinics that would be able to see or treat you more quickly. The suitable alternative hospital must be able to provide the same type of treatment and procedure, and be able to do this within the national prices set within the NHS.

Some treatments offered by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust are very specialised, therefore this may mean it will not be possible to offer you a suitable alternative. We know that many of our patients have discussed their choice of hospital and appointment with their GPs before choosing to come here. If your GP said this was the only place that would be suitable for you, it is likely we will not be able to offer you another choice. However, we will always check and discuss this with the organisations responsible for funding services for patients.

We aim to to reduce our waiting times for less urgent patients, but there are still some services where waiting is longer than 18 weeks from the original referral. We always prioritise those patients whose conditions are clinically urgent This means less urgent cases can take longer than we would want. This is particularly the case where patients can only be treated by a single surgeon, who only has limited time available.

If you would like to find out what your waiting time is likely to be before you are treated, or to explore whether it might be possible to be transferred to another provider, please contact us. You can contact us on 0113 2064453 and leave a message and a day time telephone number so we can ring you back. We will talk to the team looking after you, let you know the likely time before you will be treated, and let you know what other options may be available.

More details on your rights under the NHS Constitution can be found on