14 July 2016
Responding to cancer waiting times for May, published today by NHS England, Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive, Macmillan Cancer Support said:
“It is deeply depressing to see the 62 day target from an urgent referral to the start of cancer treatment was missed yet again in May. More than 2,000 people waited more than two months to start treatment in May, while shockingly 500 people waited more than three months. This means that this target has not been met at all in 2016, and has only been met once since the start of 2015.[i] The crunch winter months for the NHS are behind us, and yet dispiritingly we have seen a deterioration in results compared to April.
“This is the sign of a system under extraordinary pressure, with funding not keeping pace with the increased demands being placed on it. The government recently announced a year’s investment in early diagnosis programmes as outlined in the cancer strategy for England. This is welcome, but we need to see guaranteed funding for next year if cancer waiting times are to improve.
“Cancer is the toughest fight most people will ever face, and they should not be made to wait any longer than is absolutely necessary to start vital treatment. This continuing failure means that more than 10,000 people with cancer have so far this year anxiously waited for treatment. This can cause real distress to people with cancer and their families at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.”
[i] Based on the period January 2015 to May 2016
For further information, please contact:
Patrick Pringle, Media & PR Officer Macmillan Cancer Support 0207 840 4891 (out of hours 07801 307068) firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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[i] Based on the period May 2013 to May 2016