Covid-19: Information relating to waiting times

kanchan Rege
A message to our patients who are awaiting treatment, from our Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kanchan Rege, "During the first wave of the pandemic, we had to make the difficult decision to delay some of our non-urgent treatments, including some surgeries. This was to ensure we could protect our patients, staff and community from the spread of Covid-19.

"Since then we have put a number of safety measures in place to allow our services to resume. This includes reducing the number of clinics running each day to ensure social distancing can be maintained throughout our hospitals.

"The majority of our services are now open, however the pause to services earlier in the year means our waiting times have increased.

"We understand that delays in treatment causes stress and anxiety for patients and their relatives. Please be assured that we are working through this backlog as quickly as we can, prioritising those who are clinically urgent.

"We are sending letters out to patients waiting for treatment explaining what to do if they are worried about their condition or if their symptoms have got worse.

"Thank you for bearing with us during this challenging time."

If you have received your letter but have questions, then please follow our guidance below:


We want to assure you that you haven’t been forgotten. We know that everyone who is on a waiting list is there for an important reason and we understand the stress and anxiety that delays can cause.

We continue to manage our waiting lists so that patients who are most at risk from a delay in diagnosis or treatment are seen first. Please be assured that if you’re currently waiting, we will be assessing the risk of the delay you are experiencing. Everybody who has unfortunately waited longer than we would normally expect, will receive a letter explaining what to do if you’re worried or if your condition is getting worse.

If your health changes or you become worried about worsening symptoms, who you contact will depend on the type of appointment you’re waiting for. Please get in contact with the team/department who are managing your appointment. 
If you are waiting for your first outpatient appointment and have not yet been seen by anyone at our hospitals, please contact your GP to let them know if your symptoms have become worse.
If you have already been seen by someone at our hospitals and are waiting for a follow-up appointment, please contact the team at the hospital who are caring for you to let them know if your symptoms have become worse.
If your GP has referred you for a diagnostic appointment, such as a scan or x-ray, please contact your GP to let them know if your symptoms have become worse. If someone at our hospitals has referred you for a diagnostic appointment, such as a scan or x-ray, please contact the team at the hospital who are caring for you to let them know if your symptoms have become worse.
If you are waiting for surgery or an outpatient procedure please contact the team at the hospital who are caring for you if your symptoms become worse.
If you feel you no longer need or wish to have treatment please contact the team caring for you at our hospitals and we will discuss this with you and advise on next steps.

If you are called into the hospital for a face to face appointment it is very important that you attend.

We have put steps in place in our hospitals to keep you safe – all patients are required to wear masks or face coverings, observe social distancing rules and follow the one-way systems that are in place.  We have also increased cleaning in our wards and clinics.

We are also keeping patients apart and testing for Covd-19 frequently.  These changes mean that we need more time for each patient and it may take longer than normal to see you.  It is very important that we take these steps to protect you.

If you have a comment or question about our approach please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). The team can be reached between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday via phone call or email:
Peterborough City Hospital - 01733 673405 or nwangliaft.pals@nhs.net

Hinchingbrooke Hospital - 01480 428964 or Hch-tr.pals@nhs.net 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of our staff had to be redeployed to work in departments and wards that needed them the most. 

Dealing with a high number of very unwell patients meant that we had to make difficult decisions about what services we could still safely operate during this time. Frustratingly that meant that appointments for some specialties had to be delayed and we are now working to ensure we communicate with all patients and provide as much information as we can give about rescheduling appointments if you are still waiting to be seen.

To do this effectively with all of the patient groups living in our local communities and to thank you for your patience, our staff have collated a video message to share with our patients. This message has been translated into various languages so it can be shared more widely.

Please click here to access these video messages.