In the UK, some services are on the waiting list for years.
Some services are only available at certain times of the day, or sometimes even for only one week in a row.
We’ve looked at some of the most popular services and how they can help you decide if they’re worth waiting for.
If you’re looking for a specialist GP service in your area, here’s how to find it and what you should do if you’ve missed out on one:Read more about the NHS waiting list.
If your GP surgery has been closed for a long time, or if you are still waiting for a diagnosis, the NHS can offer you the opportunity to see a specialist, including an MRI scan, CT scan, and PET scan.
You can also take part in a short trial.
This is a one-off opportunity to receive a diagnosis for free, without needing to pay the full price.
This trial lasts for two weeks and you need to be enrolled by 8pm on the day you are due to return.
The NHS website has a list of some of its most popular centres for patients who want to be able to see an optometrist.
These can be found on the UK’s Health and Care website.
If you’ve not visited a GP centre in the past six months, you can still get a referral from the NHS for a consultation.
If a GP surgery is closing, you may be eligible to see another specialist in your local area, such as an occupational therapist or an occupational medicine specialist.
This can include a specialist in surgery or in a speciality such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy, as well as general practitioners, osteopaths, and dental hygienists.
If this doesn’t work for you, you’ll still be able get referrals for a trial of a new GP.
You’ll be asked to pay for this trial, and if you choose to take part, you won’t be able see the same specialist twice.
You can then be referred to a specialist again when the waiting time expires.
Read moreAbout your GP’s waiting listIn 2018, there were more than 9.5 million GP visits, but there were just 732,000 people who received an appointment in the year before the survey was launched.
The NHS estimates that over this same period, about 5.7 million people had their GP appointments cancelled due to reasons including poor health, waiting times, or a change in eligibility.
The number of people waiting to see their GP has been falling over the last three years.
In 2019, about 1 in 10 patients in England had a GP appointment cancelled.
But this figure has fallen by more than half to 1 in 2,400 patients in 2020, according to the NHS.
The reasons for the falling numbers are unclear.
But while waiting times have fallen, many people are still left waiting to get a test or a diagnosis.
For some, this may mean waiting for months.
This article tells you how to check if you might be on an over-the-counter (OTC) waiting list and what to do if your GP is refusing to take you.
What you can doIf you are on an OTC waiting list, you need not go to a GP or visit the GP surgery.
If a GP refuses to treat you, your GP may contact the OTC services.
If that doesn’t help, you should speak to your GP.
If your GP refuses, you might also be able find a new appointment.
Read more about OTCs and the NHS over-supply of specialist appointmentsThe NHS OTC service is based in hospitals across the country.
A GP in England will contact an OPC to let them know if you have a request to see the specialist.
The GP will then give you a written decision that they will consider, and then the GP may agree to see you.
If the GP says they can’t do the test or diagnose you, they may refer you to another specialist.
If that doesn�t help, your local GP will advise you about your options.
Read the NHS OCT guideIf you don�t want to wait, you will need to speak to a third party.
The GP may ask you to sign a form stating that they can treat you without a referral.
If someone has told you they can see you, but you don’t want to see them, you have the right to contact your GP for advice.
The person you contact may be able help you find another GP to treat the condition you have.
If the GP is willing to treat it, they’ll need to take a statement from you to explain why.
If they decide you donít have the illness or condition you want to treat, the GP will have to agree to treating you.
If they do decide to treat and you’re unable to pay, you and your GP will be given a second written decision