Patients who person spent astatine slightest 10 months connected nan NHS waiting database will beryllium offered curen hundreds of miles distant successful a bid to velocity up entree to care.
Letters, emails and texts will beryllium sent to astir 400,000 patients successful England asking if they would beryllium consenting to recreation to beryllium treated quicker.
They will beryllium asked really acold they are consenting to spell — 50 miles, 100 miles aliases nationally — earlier being matched to replacement hospitals that tin spot them sooner.
Health leaders insist nan move will maximise NHS capacity and simultaneously connection patients much prime and control.
But critics opportunity it is 'not a magic bullet' and could exclude those who consciousness excessively aged aliases sick to travel.
Campaigners besides reason that hundreds of thousands much patients stuck connected nan database should beryllium alert that they person nan correct to take wherever they get treated.
MailOnline's interactive instrumentality lets you spot nan size of nan queue astatine your section infirmary spot and nan proportionality of patients who person been waiting for 18 weeks aliases little — nan maximum clip patients should hold for curen nether NHS rules.
MailOnline app users tin position it by clicking here.
The figures show Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has nan highest proportionality of patients waiting much than 18 weeks astatine 60.6 per cent. Almost six successful 10 were besides waiting astatine Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, which logged a proportionality of 57.5 per cent. Some 55.7 per cent were near waiting much than 18 weeks astatine University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, while nan fig stood astatine 52.8 per cent astatine James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
The figures show Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has nan highest proportionality of patients waiting much than 18 weeks astatine 60.6 per cent.
Almost six successful 10 were besides waiting astatine Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, which logged a proportionality of 57.5 per cent.
At nan different extremity of nan scale, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust had conscionable 2 per cent waiting complete nan timescale — nan smallest proportionality successful nan country.
Two different crab hospitals — nan Clatterbridge Cancer Centre (4.2 per cent) and nan Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trusts (5.3 per cent) — were among nan different trusts pinch nan smallest proportion.
Under nan caller NHS guidance, patients will beryllium actively asked astir undergoing curen astatine replacement hospitals if they person been waiting longer than 40 weeks and do not person an assignment scheduled wrong nan adjacent 8 weeks — an estimated 5 per cent of those connected nan grounds 7.75million waiting list.
There were 4.6million group waiting for curen successful February 2020 but nan number soared erstwhile nan NHS postponed astir regular attraction to prioritise Covid patients during nan pandemic.
The NHS will usage a 'matching platform' launched earlier this twelvemonth to nexus patients to NHS and backstage assemblage hospitals extracurricular their area.
If nary replacement infirmary is recovered wrong 2 months, nan diligent will stay pinch their existent supplier and support their position connected nan waiting list.
Despite nan push to target a proportionality of patients connected nan queue, everyone has nan correct to take wherever they are referred to for a first outpatient appointment.
Under nan aforesaid rulebook, patients tin besides move to different infirmary which carries retired NHS procedures pinch a shorter waiting database if they person been waiting longer than 18 weeks.
But a canvass past twelvemonth suggested only half of NHS patients are alert they are entitled to take aliases move wherever they are treated.
Exactly why nan NHS hasn't done a amended occupation astatine informing patients astir this correct is unclear.
Although it mightiness beryllium down to healthcare professionals not knowing that patients tin choose, it being seen arsenic much admin for NHS unit aliases unit not having capable clip to talk nan choices pinch patients, according to nan Patients Association.
And, if everyone presently waiting for curen switched to a infirmary pinch a shorter waiting list, it would simply create a longer waiting database astatine a different hospital, it said.
Amanda Pritchard, main executive of NHS England, said: 'This caller measurement to connection NHS patients who person been waiting nan longest nan opportunity to see travelling for curen is conscionable different illustration of really we are introducing caller approaches to trim really agelong patients wait, while improving nan prime and power they person complete their ain care.
'So, whether a patient's attraction moves to nan adjacent municipality aliases location farther away, it is perfectly correct that we make nan astir of disposable capacity crossed nan state to proceed to trim nan backlogs that person inevitably built up owed to nan pandemic and supply nan champion imaginable service.'
England's ever-growing backlog deed 7.75million successful August — nan balanced of 1 successful 7 people. This includes astir 400,000 stuck successful nan strategy for complete a year, often successful pain
Patients who person spent astatine slightest 10 months connected nan NHS waiting database will beryllium offered curen hundreds of miles away
Patients will beryllium contacted straight by their NHS spot aliases independent assemblage provider.
Health officials said immoderate backing and support will beryllium disposable to thief those who whitethorn struggle to travel, specified arsenic taxis aliases hotels for nan aged aliases disabled. However, hospitals will determine who tin entree these payments connected a 'case by case' basis.
Louise Ansari, nan main executive of Health Watch England, which represents patients, said: 'Many patients facing agelong waits for attraction will invited nan news that they tin now take to recreation for curen if it intends they will beryllium seen sooner.
'However, without support from nan NHS pinch carrier and accommodation costs, this solution will only thief those who tin spend to recreation for faster care.
'Record numbers of group are presently stuck connected NHS waiting lists, and our investigation has many times highlighted nan effect agelong waits person connected patients, peculiarly group from groups facing wellness inequalities, including group connected little incomes.
'People person besides told america that they would invited nan opportunity to recreation to person attraction much quickly, arsenic agelong arsenic immoderate further costs incurred would beryllium covered.'
However, nan NHS admitted a number of patients will not suffice if their objective information is excessively complex, making it inappropriate to travel.
Rory Deighton of nan NHS Confederation, which represents wellness work employers, said nan move would easiness unit connected immoderate of nan astir strained parts of nan system.
He added: 'Matching request to places pinch capacity is sensible and will beryllium beneficial to those patients who are capable and consenting to travel.
'But wellness leaders will beryllium mindful that this strategy will not activity for everyone arsenic immoderate patients will not consciousness capable aliases comfortable to recreation very acold for their treatment, and others pinch much insignificant wellness complaints successful truth whitethorn for illustration to hold for an assignment to go disposable astatine their section healthcare provider.'
Saffron Cordery, lawman main executive of NHS Providers, said: 'Giving patients who are capable to nan opportunity to spell elsewhere to beryllium treated is not a magic slug for tackling nan causes of record-high numbers of group connected NHS waiting lists – which experts foretell could emergence to much than 8 cardinal by adjacent summer.
'Long waiting times are a denotation of years of terrible workforce shortages and underinvestment successful nan NHS.'
Health Secretary Steve Barclay declared: 'Empowering group to take wherever and erstwhile they person their curen will thief tackle waiting lists and amended entree to NHS care.