10 November 2016
Responding to September’s cancer waiting times which showed that the NHS in England has now failed to meet a vital cancer target in all but one of the past 29 months[i]
, Tom Cottam, policy manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
“Today’s figures show that nearly one in five people with suspected cancer are being made to wait too long to start treatment after an urgent referral from a GP[ii]. The last thing somebody with cancer needs is to have to wait at such a difficult time. It can cause real anguish to those going through treatment, as well as people close to them. People with cancer must be able to approach treatment knowing that everything possible was done to get it started in a timely way in the first place.
“The latest figures show performance for this target is not improving, which is an ominous sign as the NHS approaches the crunch winter months. Despite announcing support for struggling trusts earlier this year, the NHS in England is still failing to meet a vital cancer target. This is concerning, and unless urgent action is taken, people with cancer will continue to experience delays that make a tough time even tougher.”
For further information, please contact:
Patrick Pringle, Senior Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
0207 840 4891 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
In September 2016, 55% of trusts who have NHS Improvement targets in place missed these by more than 1%[iii]
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
[i] 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 – September 2016 (Provider based). Available from: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/cancer-waiting-times/. [Accessed November 10th 2016].
[ii] See above. Figure refers to September 2016 data, where 18.6% of patients waited more than two months to start treatment, which is outside the operational standard.
[iii] NHS England. Strengthening Financial Performance & Accountability in 2016/17
Trusts who have not accepted a control total have been excluded. Trajectories may be subject to change due to awaiting regional sign off. Figures based on Trusts who gave first treatment to at least five people with suspected cancer during September 2016 and were more than 1% outside of their performance trajectory as set by NHS Improvement.