Not ready for care patients are either:
- staged patients whose medical condition will not require or be amenable to surgery until some future date; for example, a patient who has had internal fixation of a fractured bone and who will require removal of the fixation device after a suitable time; or
- deferred patients who for personal reasons are not yet prepared to be admitted to hospital; for example, patients with work or other commitments which preclude their being admitted to hospital for a time.
Not ready for care patients may also be termed staged or deferred waiting list patients. Staged or deferred patients should not be confused with patients whose operation is postponed for reasons other than their own unavailability; for example, surgeon unavailable owing to emergency workload. These patients are still ready for care.