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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here is a list of questions that you might be asking if you are waiting for an appointment, operation, other procedure or tests at a hospital.

This refers to non-urgent or routine hospital care. Urgent care for things like cancer are prioritised differently and are not included as part of these FAQs.

The FAQs will be updated regularly to ensure they contain up-to-date information and contacts.

Our consultants are looking at who has the greatest clinical need and who has waited the longest, and prioritising people against these two key criteria as each service gets back up and running. We want to ensure that this is done as fairly as possible to ensure that people are not disadvantaged.

The length of time you have to wait will depend on your specific treatment and clinical needs. Hospitals in Greater Manchester as well as the independent hospitals (private sector) are all working together to treat people as quickly as possible and increase the number of people who can be treated daily. We are treating people in the evenings and at weekends and asking some people to go to different hospitals so we treat people as quickly as possible.

If you could be treated quicker at a different hospital, your clinical team will discuss it with you and offer support to enable you to access the alternative site wherever possible. You can check the waiting times at your hospital.

My Planned Care
You can look up your hospital and specialty on My Planned Care. You will be able to see an average waiting time for the specialty you are under. Whilst you can see an average waiting time for the specialty, please note that the waiting times for different procedures within that specialty will differ. Visit My Planned Care.

Waiting times and lists are recovering after Covid-19 but the lists are constantly changing so it can be very hard for your hospital consultant or your GP to say exactly when you will be seen.

Please contact the hospital specialist secretary/booking team or contact PALS. The number and e-mail for this should be on the hospital appointment letter. If you are unable to reach the specialist secretary/booking team then please contact PALS. Find Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) services across Greater Manchester.

If you have not heard from the hospital and your condition is getting worse, you need to contact your GP. Your GP surgery is still open and is able to provide care, so you shouldn’t put off getting any help you need.

You should contact your GP who can then assess, advise and help you manage your new condition.

No, your GP won’t be able to help you get seen any quicker as your GP does not have access to the hospital appointment or waiting list system.

Hospital appointments and waiting lists are looked after by each area of the hospital.

People with the most urgent needs are being contacted first therefore it may take longer than normal for you to receive a letter/appointment from the hospital. The hospital Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) offers confidential advice, support and information. They provide a point of contact for patients, their families and their carers. You can find PALS officers in your local hospital.

It is also important that you contact your hospital if you think that you would like to be removed from the waiting list.

PIP (personal independence payment) is a non-means tested benefit that helps people deal with some of the extra costs associated with long-term illness or disability. You’ll be assessed on things such as your ability to prepare food and drink, wash, dress, go to the toilet, manage health conditions and make financial decisions.

This website provides many links to national and regional support and advice.

Waiting for treatment, surgery or tests can be worrying and may also be making you feel anxious or low. It’s a good idea to talk about how you are feeling with a friend or family member. If you are really struggling to cope or feel things are getting on top of you have a chat with your GP or primary care team.

If you are waiting for a procedure or treatment under any of the following specialties you can visit our new pages for more detailed advice:

Yes. If you choose to be transferred to another hospital for the same condition, you will be reviewed by a senior clinician and are likely to wait a similar length of time as for your current hospital. Our consultants are looking at who has the greatest clinical need and who has waited the longest, and prioritising people against these two key criteria as each service gets back up and running.

If you ask for a new referral to a new hospital, you would start a fresh wait on their waiting list. 

The exception to this is where your hospital offers for you to have your appointment/procedure transferred to a different hospital or of our Independent Sector (private) hospitals, when they believe that will be more appropriate and quicker for you.

If a transfer to another hospital is arranged by your existing hospital, you are likely to be seen quicker. The reason they will be offering for you to move, is so you can be seen sooner.

Transport or help with travel costs, may be available to help you. Visit our transport services page for information on:

  • Planning a journey by public transport
  • Information on help with travel costs
  • Transport services available across Greater Manchester
  • Community transport services available in different parts of Greater Manchester

Last Updated: 9 April 2024

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