While You Wait

Supporting Bolton patients waiting for hospital treatment

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that some operations and procedures have been postponed, leading to understandable concern for those waiting for treatment.

Due to Covid-19 and its impact on our local hospitals, as of November 2021 there were approximately 31,000 Bolton residents on waiting lists for procedures.

The NHS is working hard to get people seen as quickly as possible.

The Royal Bolton Hospital, GP practices and everyone involved in your care are doing their best to reduce waiting lists and waiting times for patients - while also supporting you while you wait.

We understand that many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried, and we will be contacting everyone affected as soon as possible over the coming months. Please continue to bear with us.

If you or someone you care for are waiting for delayed medical care, you are likely to have a number of questions. We hope to answer those.

We are working with our colleagues throughout Greater Manchester to provide: up-to-date information about keeping fit and healthy while you wait; useful information, documents and links; information on what to do and who to contact if your condition worsens.

Please check this page from time to time for any updates.

Visit the Greater Manchester While You Wait website for more information on:

  • How to stay as fit and healthy as possible while you wait for your treatment
  • Where to find any extra support online
  • Where to find further information about approximate waiting times at different hospitals
  • What to do if your condition deteriorates
  • Frequently asked questions


Keeping fit and well is essential to your physical and mental wellbeing. It can also speed up your recovery after surgery.

Bolton has many services to help people look after their mind and body.

This includes help and support to quit smoking, lose weight, get active, manage drug or alcohol problems, and look after your emotional health and wellbeing.

You can access this in a variety of ways such as self-help, online, telephone helplines and face-to-face support with a health professional.

Click on the links below to find out more:

Information on Active Ageing sessions for over 50s; alcohol, drugs and substance misuse recovery services; dementia support groups; support to quit smoking.

Useful contacts if you need to speak to someone on a range of topics.

Provides self-help groups, advocacy and talking therapy.

Free 24/7 helpline for people in Bolton if you feel your mental health is beginning to suffer.

Bolton-based community mental health service.

Provides a counselling service and activities such as arts, crafts, drama, music and aerobics.

Support for people diagnosed with any form of dementia and their carers.

There, day or night, for anyone who’s struggling to cope, who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure.

Organisations that support children and young people and their parents/carers in Bolton:

A website designed by young people in Bolton for young people.

Online mental wellbeing support for young people aged 11 to 25 in Bolton.

Online support for parents aged 26 and over in Bolton who are concerned about their child's wellbeing. Parents under 26 can access the same support from Kooth.

Parents and children can text a healthcare professional for advice and support.

Emotional health and wellbeing support for children and young people.

There's a large range of community services for Bolton patients.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust

As well as the Royal Bolton Hospital, the trust has more than 20 centres across Bolton that provide services in a community setting.

Outpatient appointments for a number of services are offered at health centres and clinics across the borough, and also at schools and patients’ homes where necessary.

Inpatient care is provided by the intermediate care service at residential centres.

More information about the trust

Other Bolton Services

Click on the links below to find out more about other services in Bolton.

Information about GPs, pharmacies, emergency dental and other services.

Independent champion for people who use health and social care services. Also provides general advice, help finding a service and help making a complaint.

Email: info@healthwatchbolton.co.uk

Find social groups and community activities near you.

Tel: 01204 546010

Support for people who look after a relative, partner or friend of any age who needs help due to a physical or mental illness or disability, frailty or an addiction

Carers 24 hour Helpline: 01204 363056

Activities, events, support and advice for people aged over 50 who live in Bolton.

Provides free, confidential, independent and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities.

Listens to and supports people and communities in times of need.

Samaritans is not only for the moment of crisis; it also gives people ways to cope and the skills to be there for others.

  • Adult Social Care Early Intervention Team

Undertakes an initial assessment of anyone who needs adult social care; provides short term support and directs people to services and other agencies as required. If a formal assessment is needed under the Care Act, the team will redirect to the appropriate district social work team.

Telephone 01204337860 or email EIT.Team@bolton.gov.uk

Advice and assistance on home improvements and adaptations to help people maintain their independence and live in comfort in their own home.

Covid-19 support hub and helpline for people who need support (including food and essential items such as medication).

Call 01204 337221 Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm, and Saturdays 9am to 1.30pm.


Bolton has many NHS services.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust

Visit the 'your services' page on the trust's website for information about the services it provides at the Royal Bolton Hospital and in the community. It also has contact numbers if you need to speak to a specific service about your condition.

The trust's website is updated regularly. If there is something specific you are looking for, and you cannot find it on the website, ring the hospital switchboard on 01204 390390 or the trust's Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01204 390193.

NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Other NHS services you may use include GPs, dental treatment and pharmacies.

Visit the 'your services' page on the CCG's website for more details of services that are available to you or someone you look after.

Hospital appointments and waiting lists are looked after by each hospital department.

Waiting times will depend on what treatment you are waiting for and your individual needs.

The list of people waiting changes daily and it is very hard to tell you how long you will have to wait. You can find approximate waiting times at your local hospital on the Greater Manchester While You Wait website.

The website also has the answers to some frequently asked questions.

Your GP won’t be able to help you get seen any quicker as your GP does not have access to hospital appointment or waiting list systems.

If you need to change or cancel an outpatient appointment with Bolton NHS Foundation Trust please contact the Telephone Access Centre.

  • By email: TAC@boltonft.nhs.uk
  • By phone: 01204 390400 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 7.30pm, and Saturday 8.30am to 1pm)

If you do not attend your agreed appointment, without first letting them know, you are likely to be discharged back to your GP.

Concerns, advice and complaints

All NHS organisations have a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS Team) which offers confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters. They can help to sort out your issues.

PALS teams can also advise you how to make a complaint.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust

More details about the PALS team at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, including how to contact the them, is on the trust's website.

You can also email them: Pals@boltonft.nhs.uk

NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

You can contact the PALS team at Bolton CCG

If you require further help

Click on the links below for details of other organisations that can provide help and support:

Find a service

Select a service
01204 46 2000

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