Diagnostic test waiting times
Diagnostic tests or procedures are a critical element in the care of most patients. Shorter waiting times are beneficial, as they help people get quicker access to the treatments they need.
The six week diagnostic wait was initially introduced as a 'milestone' in March 2008 to support the achievement of the 18 week referral to treatment (RTT) target, but diagnostic waiting times are now part of the NHS Constitution. This gives patients the legal right to have a diagnostic test within six weeks of the request being sent.
These statistics measure waiting times for 15 key diagnostic tests and procedures: Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Computed Tomography, Non-obstetric Ultrasound, Barium Enema, DEXA Scan, Audiology - Audiology Assessments, Cardiology - Echocardiography, Cardiology - Electrophysiology, Neurophysiology - Peripheral Neurophysiology, Respiratory physiology - Sleep Studies, Urodynamics - Pressures & Flows, Colonoscopy, Flexi Sigmoidoscopy, Cystoscopy and Gastroscopy.
Once a decision has been made that a patient needs a diagnostic test or procedure and the request has been sent, they are on the waiting list and the clock starts for their diagnostic test waiting time. The clock stops once they have had their diagnostic test or procedure.
For further guidance on these data, please see the NHS England website.