We know that the ’18 week wait’ might be confusing to some people.
In the NHS the 18 week wait means the time it takes from the point a GP refers a patient for specialist treatment to the time they start it. This target allows for some complex pathways to take longer should that be in the clinical interests of the patient.
For patients, the 18 week wait means most will get high-quality specialist treatment quicker in a more convenient place, with care after treatment being provided closer to home.
More information on patient waiting times can be found on the NHS website.