NHSScotland waiting times guidance: November 2023

This guidance replaces the previous waiting times guidance (2012) to support health boards in the delivery of the national waiting times standards. The guidance will continue to make sure that patients who are on waiting lists are managed fairly and consistently across NHSScotland.

16. Glossary


An arrangement for a patient to be seen by or be in contact with one or more care professionals following an Appointment Referral.

Clinical Review

A clinical review must take place by the receiving service within the Health Board, prior to any patient being removed from a waiting list. Examples of a clinical review can be, but are not limited to, the following.

  • The review of a patient’s record by a clinician following a removal recommendation.
  • A clinician recommending that a patient should be removed during a clinic.
  • Agreed Removal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place for specific, routine procedures that have been pre-agreed and approved by a clinician.
  • Agreed Removal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to allow administration staff to remove patients during waiting list validation which have been pre-agreed and approved by a clinician.


The exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other method, including but not limited to, online methods such as email or via online websites.

Health Board of Initial

The Health Board that receives the initial referral for the patient. In some cases, a patient may be transferred more than once in their treatment journey.

Health Board of Residence

The Health Board in the area of which a patient permanently resides.

Health Board of Treatment

The Health Board that treats the patient.

Health Care Provider

A Health Care Provider is an organisation acting as a direct provider of health care services.

Local Access Policy

Describes how the Health Board will manage access to its services and ensure fair treatment for all patients. Additionally, it outlines the responsibility of referrers, patients and receiving Health Boards, as well as the management of waiting times and communication with patients.

National Access Policy

Aims to ensure consistency of approach in providing access to services. This should be supported by a Local Access Policy developed by each Health Board setting out the details of how these principles apply to their local services.

One-Stop Service

A clinic where a patient will see a doctor or nurse, who may send them for a test and then discuss the results and next steps with them during their appointment.

Planned Repeat

When a patient is added to an inpatient / day case waiting list consisting of patients whose care is planned over a series of admissions for procedures or treatment.


All guidelines (including best practice) noted in this guidance document that are not related to a measured target or guarantee.


Email: waitingtimespolicy@gov.scot

Back to top