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To investigate the impact of a waiting list initiative on an ENT surgical waiting list, we have evaluated the outcome of the Tayside ENT Waiting List Initiative. Four hundred and forty-five patients were offered dates to come in during the initiative. Of these, 280 underwent surgery and 16 indicated that their operations were no longer necessary. The maximum wait for routine operations falling within the criteria for inclusion in the initiative was 28 months prior to the initiative can be effective in reducing waiting times for routine surgery. However, it is too early to describe the Tayside initiative as an unqualified success, as it remains to be seen whether or not the waiting list will lengthen again now that it is over.