11 August 2016
Responding to waiting times published today by NHS England, Duleep Allirajah, Head of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support says:
“This latest breach is another blot on this sorry record of missed waiting times and is indicative of a failure that is sadly becoming the new norm. Less than half (47%) of NHS Trusts failed to meet the 62-day waiting target in June 2016.[i]
“Nobody should have to wait longer than absolutely necessary to start treatment but sadly, yet again, too many people are being left to linger. Not only can this wait have an impact on their emotional wellbeing, it may also risk their physical health. We already know that one in five people (20%) reporting their health had got worse while they were waiting for their first appointment with a hospital doctor.[ii]
“We know measures have been taken to incentivise trusts to improve in this area. But if they are to really stand a chance of improving waiting times, the recent one-off investment in early diagnosis by NHS England now needs to be guaranteed for every year between now and 2020. NHS England needs to spell out how much funding will be available, and ensure it is ring fenced.”
For further information, please contact:
Jess Owen, Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
0207 091 2407 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
About Macmillan Cancer Support
When you have cancer, you don’t just worry about what will happen to your body, you worry about what will happen to your life. Whether it’s concerns about who you can talk to, planning for the extra costs or what to do about work, at Macmillan we understand how a cancer diagnosis can take over everything.
That’s why we’re here. We provide support that helps people take back control of their lives. But right now, we can’t reach everyone who needs us. We need your help to make sure that people affected by cancer get the support they need to face the toughest fight of their life. No one should face cancer alone, and with your support no one will.
To get involved, call 0300 1000 200 today. And please remember, we’re here for you too. If you’d like support, information or just to chat, call us free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk
[i] 1. Cancer Waiting Times – Data Extract June 2016. 62-Day Wait for first treatment – All Cancers, Provider Data. (admitted and non-admitted care settings). Source: NHS England available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/cancer-waiting-times/ Calculation based on provider Trusts who gave first treatment to at least five people with cancer during June 2016.
[ii] Quality Health. National Cancer Patient Experience Survey (CPES) for England, 2014. https://www.quality-health.co.uk/resources/surveys/national-cancer-experience-survey/2014-national-cancer-patient-experience-survey/2014-national-cancer-patient-experience-survey-national-reports. CPES does not provide information on specifically why patients’ health got worse, so it may be linked to health conditions other than their cancer. However, among those who do not have any other long-term health condition other than cancer, 19% still report that their health got worse while they were waiting.