Hospital ward

Use our simple interactive tool to explore what could happen to the NHS waiting list in England over the next four years in different scenarios.

NHS waiting lists are likely to be a key issue in the forthcoming general election. The current government has made cutting NHS waiting lists one of its key priorities, while one of the Labour party’s five national missions is to ‘get the NHS back on its feet’, including by cutting waiting times. As part of the IFS pre-election analysis, we have updated this tool that allows you to produce waiting list scenarios for the English NHS under your own assumptions. To read more about our waiting list analysis, or the basis for the IFS waiting list scenarios included in the tool, please see our full election briefing here.

Instructions: Use the sliders on the left-hand side to adjust the factors that feed into our waiting list model. The chart will automatically update to reflect your choices. If you hover over a slider, it will give you more information about the factor and some benchmark values which you might find useful. You can use the ‘Set to IFS Central Scenario’, ‘Set to IFS Optimistic Scenario’ and ‘Set to IFS Pessimistic Scenario’ buttons below the sliders to load IFS scenarios (details of these can be found in the election briefing). The ‘Save and Add New Scenario’ button will save your current scenario and give you a new scenario to edit (starting from your current choices). The ‘Reset All Scenarios’ button will remove all saved scenarios from the chart and reset to the IFS Central Scenario. If you want to customise the scenarios further, you can click on the ‘Advanced’ tab at the top of the left-hand side.

The right-hand side by default shows a graph of the total waiting list under your current assumptions. You can use the tabs at the top of the right-hand side to instead see graphs of treatment volumes and the number of patients joining the waiting list. You can also download the data of the current chart using the download button below the chart.