How long will I have to wait to see a consultant?

Find out about maximum waiting times for NHS treatment with a consultant.

It depends on why you need to see the consultant.

Non-emergency treatment

For non-emergency treatment, you have the right to start consultant-led treatment within 18 weeks from when your GP, dentist or other healthcare professional refers you. 

Cancer

When cancer is suspected, you have the right to be seen by a specialist within two weeks from GP referral. Most people referred like this don't have cancer, but it's important to see a specialist as soon as possible, so that a cancer diagnosis can be confirmed or excluded.

For more information, including how waiting times are calculated, when the maximum waiting times don't apply and what to do if you have waited longer than 18 weeks, see the guide to NHS waiting times.

Further information:

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