10 July 2014
Responding to monthly NHS England waiting time statistics for tests which can detect cancer, Duleep Allirajah, Head of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support says:
“It is extremely worrying that the proportion of people who face delays in receiving vital tests which can diagnose cancer has doubled since this time last year, from 1.0% to 2.2%.
“Despite the fact that waiting times are significantly lower since the introduction of the six-week waiting time target in 2008, it’s alarming to see them creeping back up again. The NHS is under strain and cancer risks being overlooked and not given the focus it needs.
“Each individual hospital has a responsibility to meet these targets, or they risk putting a patient’s best chance of survival at risk. However, this government and the next also need to take responsibility. Macmillan Cancer Support is urging all political parties to make cancer a top priority at the upcoming 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:
1 Historical Time Series, Monthly Diagnostic Waiting Times and Activity, NHS England:
2 In January 2008 the proportion of people who faced delays in receiving cancer diagnostic tests was 14.1%. This fell to a low of 0.5% in October 2009 following the introduction of the target in March 2008.
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.