Publication Health and Care 26 October, 2023

The hidden waitlist

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Follow up appointments are crucial to the health and safety of patients, and can include monitoring for the recurrence of cancer, assessing whether someone’s medication is correct, and managing chronic conditions to reduce the risk of deterioration.

Based on data obtained exclusively by Reform via an FOI request, this paper estimates that the total number of people currently waiting for follow up appointments at acute trusts stands at more than 11 million. This is 3.6 million more than the elective waitlist, which receives the lion’s share of attention.

Worryingly, a third of trusts responded to the FOI request saying they could not provide the data, raising questions about their ability to manage their waitlists.

The paper also covers the treatment functions with the largest waits, as well as the high degree of performance variation.