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Waiting Times +

Accessible and easy-to-use information on waiting times for hospital and A&E patients.
photo by Chris Kang cc-by

Patients are able to check how long they might expect to wait at emergency departments across Northern Ireland from a new website built by the Detail Data project and ODI Belfast.

Monitoring of waiting times and hospital performance is also made easier by detailed and interactive charts on the website, which make use of open data published by the Department of Health. This not only covers emergency care, but also outpatients, inpatient and day cases across the different branches of medicine, where waiting times for consultant and surgical appointments extend to weeks rather than hours.

The information helps patients choose the emergency department where they’re more likely to receive treatment sooner.  This is especially helpful to patients during busy periods, such as evenings and weekends, and for those who have the choice of than one A&E that they could attend. 

It’s also beneficial for the health service. Up-to-date and reliable information has the potential to reduce pressure on busy Accident and Emergency departments in a number of ways. As an article from The Guardian notes, there are a number of new and innovative ways that health trusts are using to better target resources and quickly respond to demand, and publishing waiting times is one of them.

Being able to monitor waiting times for surgery and treatments helps patients, GPs and health service professionals keep an eye on what is happening with waiting times for surgery and appointments with consultants.

In each of these areas the health service has targets that they aim to meet. Waiting Times + helps to identify whether they are meeting them.

Real-time data on average waiting times helps emergency departments meet their 4-hour targets (95% of patients should be admitted or treated and discharge within 4 hours of arrival) by allowing patients to choose which A&E they visit. The data comes from NI Direct.

Interactive charts also show the ups and downs of average waiting times over the course of recent days.

example of accident and emergency waiting times at type 1 emergency departments


Waiting times for particular clinical specialities (e.g. Cardiology, Neurology, Urology) can also be investigated for outpatients and for inpatient and day cases.

example of dermatology services waiting times by number of outpatients


example chart for number of all inpatient and day cases waiting for admission by trust

Our performance tables also make it really easy to see how HSC Trusts and medical branches are meeting targets.

example screenshot of the performance tables

For more interactive charts and live information, visit Waiting Times +

Waiting Times + is currently in beta-testing mode while we work on testing and the best way to present the live and statistical information. If you have comments or suggestions for improvements, please get in contact.


Photograph by Chris Kang (CC-BY 3.0)