October Waiting Times Data Release Summary

Updated: Nov 14, 2019

October National Provider Data Summary

  • At the end of October 2018, 87.1% of patients waiting to start treatment (incomplete pathways) were waiting up to 18 weeks, thus not meeting the 92% standard.

  • The number of RTT patients waiting to start treatment at the end of October 2018 was 4.2 million patients. Of those, 2,816 patients were waiting more than 52 weeks.

  • For patients waiting to start treatment at the end of October 2018, the median waiting time was 7.0 weeks. The 92nd percentile waiting time was 22.0 weeks.

  • During October 2018, 326,379 RTT patients started admitted treatment and 1,180,097 started non-admitted treatment (completed pathways).

  • There are currently 4 Trust’s that are not reporting RTT data:

  1. Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (RTE)

  2. Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust (RQ8)

  3. St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (RJ7)

  4. St Helen's and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (RBN)

RTT Performance

As the below heatmap and graph shows, there has been a substantial deterioration in RTT performance nationally when compared to October 2017. 

Waiting List Size

As the below graph demonstrates, from March 2018 to October 2018 the total waiting list size increased from 3,843,182 to 4,182,612, an increase of 339,430 (8.83%).

Below is a table showing each reporting Trusts variance in waiting list size from March 2018 to October 2018, sorted by percentage variance (please click to view the whole table).

52 Week Waiters

The below heatmap shows how the number of 52-week waiters has changed nationally, with some areas such as the South West suffering a significant increase, but other areas such as the East Midlands managing to reduce their number of 52-week waiters.

Below is a table showing each reporting Trust’s variance in 52-week waiters from March 2018 to October 2018, sorted by percentage variance (please click to view the whole table).

Changes to the Individual Specialties

In regard to the waiting list size of the individual specialties:

  • General Medicine saw the highest percentage decrease, going from 45,268 to 41,751 a decrease of 3,517 pathways (7.76%), however Dermatology saw the highest decrease in pathways going from 227,080 to 223,385 a decrease of 3,695 pathways (1.62%).

  • Cardiothoracic Surgery also saw a decrease in the waiting list size going from 8,638 to 8,497, a decrease of 141 pathways (1.63%).

  • Plastic Surgery and Neurology both saw a high percentage increase in the waiting list size. Plastic Surgery going from 51,322 to 53,476, an increase of 2,154 pathways (4.19%) and Neurology going from 124,162 to 127,883, an increase of 3,721 pathways (2.99%).

  • Gastroenterology, as a single specialty saw the largest increase of pathways, going from 206,515 to 214,198, an increase of 7,683 pathways (3.72%).


  • East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust (RWH) have returned to reporting, resulting in an increase of 42,278 RTT pathways to the total waiting list size.

  • Even accounting for East and North Herts return, this still leaves a waiting list size increase of 11,796, possibly as a result of winter pressures beginning to rear their ugly head.

​Given there are tough months ahead, the March 2019 waiting list size maintenance target is looking unrealistic for most Trusts.