9 September 2016
Responding to waiting times published today by NHS England, which show 62-day waiting times have been breached for July 2016, Duleep Allirajah, Head of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support says:
“In the last two years, we’ve seen just one month where the target has been met, surrounded by a sea of breaches. This all-important target is not a box ticking exercise but a crucial safeguard designed to ensure people are given vital treatment as early as possible and are not distressed by weeks of uncertainty. Yet shockingly, these latest figures show more than 2000 people waited more than two months to start treatment.
“Breached targets are unacceptable for all cancer patients and these figures also show huge variation depending on the type of cancer a patient is diagnosed with. For examples, a quarter of lung cancer patients were not treated within 62 days of urgent referral. This is a staggering failure for one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers, known for its poor survival rates, and where early diagnosis is crucial.
“We hope that the five year Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs), due to be finished next month, will set out how each area intends to implement the Cancer Strategy and how much funding is available, including a promise of it being 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:
1. A wait of more than 62 days to begin their first definitive treatment following an urgent referral to suspected cancer from their GP.
NHS England. Cancer Waiting Times – National Time Series Oct 2009 – July 2016 (Provider based). Available from: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/cancer-waiting-times/. [Accessed September 8 2016]. Figures use July 2016 data.
2. NHS England. Cancer waiting times. 62-Day Wait for first treatment – By Cancer (Provider Data). Available from: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/cancer-waiting-times/monthly-prov-cwt/201617-monthly-prov-cwt/provider-based-cancer-waiting-times-for-july-2016/. [Accessed September 8 2016]
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.
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