10 March 2016
Responding to the cancer waiting times statistics for January 2016 published today by NHS England, Dr Fran Woodard, Executive Director of Policy and Impact at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
“It is now two years since one of the key cancer waiting time targets (62 day) was breached. The target has now been breached for 21 out of 24 months.
“We are bitterly disappointed that two years on this target is still being missed meaning that in January this year over 2,000 people with cancer waited longer than two months before starting vital treatment. More than half of trusts (58%) are currently failing people, clearly not enough has been done to make sure that cancer patients across the country experience swift referrals for treatments.
“Last year the cancer strategy for England was published, which was an acknowledgement that more needs to be done to support people affected by cancer. Yet here we are at this depressing milestone for waiting times, without a firm commitment to implementing what was recommended.
“Waiting a long time to be diagnosed and to start treatment, is the last thing people need at what is already an incredibly tough time. We must see urgent improvements if the NHS has any hope of handling increasing pressures and giving people affected by cancer the best support possible to cope with this debilitating disease.”
For further information, please contact:
Claire McMahon, Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7091 2103 (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 for suspected cancer from their GP.
2 NHS England. Provider based cancer waiting times.
3 The number of trusts failing to meet the 62-day target is based on providers who gave first treatment to at least five people with cancer during January 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.
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