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A patient that is in the booked breach wait group is a patient who has not yet exceeded their clinically recommended time frame, but has a planned operation after this time. This means while they are not yet a long wait or over due patient, they will become one before they are treated. Treating patients outside of their clinically recommended timeframe can reduce their surgical outcomes, and may be a performance issue for the health service.

Booked to breach patients may be a lead indicator of an emerging demand and capacity imbalance and will occur in parallel to rising numbers of unbooked and booked long waits.

However they can also occur when the specialty is on an improvement trajectory and will occur in parallel with reduced numbers of unbooked risks and long waits.

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