Many people have been affected by the long waiting lists for NHS treatment and appointments, whether they are in need of physio or simple mole removal.

Depending on how long you have been waiting for NHS care, you could be in luck as the NHS has revealed plans on how thousands could have their health care needs sorted sooner.

The NHS has said patients caught up in the “record backlog” could skip the queue at their local hospital if they are willing to travel to other parts of England for both private or NHS care in order to “speed up” waiting times.

It comes as the plans are an extension of the “matching platform” where patients are “matched” with providers of the service they need outside their local area.

The new system was initially launched in January this year for those needing to be admitted to hospital but the platform will now expand to include cancer, diagnostic checks and outpatient appointments.

How will I be able to skip NHS waiting lists and who can use the new platform?

NHS England said the platform allows NHS staff to view and add available surgery slots in hospitals across the country – this includes private care patients.

Details of the patient are uploaded onto the system, then other NHS and private hospitals or providers are able to log on and offer their services.

If more than one provider offers treatment, the patient can choose between them.

When a patient is first registered with the platform they can say how far they would be willing to travel, for example, up to 100 miles.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: If you're able to, will you be travelling across England to receive NHS care?If you're able to, will you be travelling across England to receive NHS care? (Image: Jeff Moore/PA)

NHS England said that the system is mainly used for patients who have been waiting the longest but patients do not need to be waiting a particular length of time or longer than average waiting times to be uploaded to the system.

It said that people in need of gynaecology, colorectal and trauma and orthopaedics have benefited most from the use of the platform so far.

Some people may be concerned about the financial impact of travelling if they are wanting to use an NHS service outside their local area, as part of the new plans.

An NHS spokesperson said there is local funding and support in place to enable people who may struggle to travel – which could include elderly or disabled people – to benefit from the scheme. This could include the provision of taxis or hotels.

NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, said: “Despite significant pressure on services, NHS staff have already made incredible progress against our elective recovery plan, and this smart new tool will help us to continue to reduce long waits for patients.

“It shows, once again, the benefits of having a national health service – NHS staff can now work even more closely with other hospitals across the country to identify capacity and conveniently match patients to available treatment and appointment slots.”

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, added: “Anything that helps older people get speedier access to the diagnostics and treatment they often desperately need has to be a good thing, so this initiative is very welcome.

“We know that literally millions of older people are stuck on waiting lists at the moment, with no idea when they’ll get seen by a clinician.

“This new platform won’t be the solution for everyone, but it will enable some fortunate older people to take advantage of spare capacity in a health setting that’s not their usual one – great news for them and a good use of the NHS’s resources too.”