14 December 2017
Responding to October’s cancer waiting times (published by NHS England on Thursday 14th
December 2017), Moira Fraser, director of policy, campaigns and influence at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
“Today’s figures show that sadly far too many people are still waiting more than two months to start cancer treatment after an urgent GP referral. This can often be an extremely anxious and uncertain time, and it is disheartening to see that, despite the very best efforts of hardworking doctors and nurses, so many people are still waiting too long for treatment to get underway.
“It is a continuing source of concern that targets that were once met regularly now seem to be unachievable. We fear that the recent funding settlement the NHS received in the Budget will do little to help improve this situation.
“Whilst it’s absolutely crucial that the waiting time target is met, the health service must also ensure that after care for patients is given as much importance, and gets the investment that it needs.”
- The 62-day target was breached again in October 2017 – only 82.3% of patients in England started treatment within two months of being urgently referred by their GP, against the target of 85%
- Over Half of NHS hospital trusts in England (54.1%) missed the 62-day target in October, with 26 trusts – around one in six – missing it by 10 percentage points or more. At these trusts, at least one in four patients waited for more than two months for treatment to start*
- So far this year, over 22,000 people have waited more than two months for treatment to start after an urgent GP referral, including around 8,600 people who have waited for more than three months
- Since the target was first breached in January 2014, over 92,000 people have waited more than two months for treatment to start
- The target has now been breached for 21 months in a row and [for 42 of the past 45 months/has only been met in one month during the past three years**]
*Refers to all trusts at which 5 or more patients started cancer treatment in October 2017 – 147 trusts in total. 72 trusts treated less than 85% of patients within two months of being urgently referred.
** Three years defined as September 2014 to October 2017
For further information, please contact:
Patrick Pringle, Senior Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
0207 840 4891 (out of hours 07801 307068)