The NHS Constitution clearly describes the right of patients to start consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral for non-urgent conditions.
This year, the Government recognises that the standard of ensuring at least 92% of patients start consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks is not being met. However, at present, over one million National Health Service patients start planned treatment with a consultant each month and the majority are seen and treated within a maximum of 18 weeks. Furthermore, we have reduced the number of people waiting the longest (over 52 weeks) to start treatment from almost 18,500 in 2010 to just under 3,000 in October 2018.
For 2018/19, the Government has provided the NHS with an additional £1.6 billion to support and improve accident and emergency and elective care performance. Furthermore, the NHS Long Term Plan will set out how the NHS will develop over the coming years. This will be supported by an extra £20.5 billion a year in real terms by 2023/24.