29 August 2014
Responding to cancer waiting times statistics for April to June 2014 released today by NHS England, Mike Hobday, Director of Policy and Research at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
“It’s simply not good enough that the cancer waiting time target for patients to begin treatment following an urgent GP referral has been breached in England for the second quarter in a row. Around 10,000 people have already had to wait longer than the recommended 62 days to start their treatment this year.
“Furthermore, there has been a ten-fold increase over the last year in the number of hospital trusts where patients with suspected cancer are waiting longer than two weeks to be seen by a specialist. This shows that the current system simply isn’t working and people with cancer are being badly let down.
“The government has been very clear about its ambition to ensure cancer is diagnosed earlier and to improve the chances of surviving the disease across the country. However, these figures show that we’ve still got a long way to go. We have some of the poorest survival rates for cancer in Europe and Macmillan is calling on all the political parties to prioritise cancer ahead of the next general election.”
For further information, please contact:
Claire Keuls, Senior Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7840 4872 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
 Provider-based Cancer Waiting Times for Q1 2014-15 (Released 29 August 2014)
 The 62 day (urgent GP referral to treatment) wait for first treatment for all care and all cancers data showed that in both Q4 2013-2014 and Q1 2014-2015 only 84% of patients were treated in 62 days before this 87% to 88% were treated in 62 days.
 9,906 people received their first treatment after 62 days in the first 6 months of 2014.
 In Q1 2014-15 27 providers missed the target to refer 93% of patients within 2 weeks. In Q1 2013-2014 2 providers missed the target.
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