6 July 2016
Responding to April’s cancer waiting times published by NHS England today, Duleep Allirajah, Head of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support says:
“It is welcome that in April the two week target for people with suspected cancer who were given an urgent referral by a GP to see a specialist was met.
“But almost 2,000 people waited more than 62 days from an urgent GP referral to start cancer treatment, and this target was breached overall. It is really troubling that missed cancer waiting times are becoming the norm; the 62 day target has been breached every month in 2016 so far and 26 times in the past three years.
“Waiting time targets are not just hoops for the health service to jump through; when they are missed they represent thousands of people over the year who have been referred for suspected cancer, waiting anxiously to be diagnosed and treated for far longer than is acceptable. Nobody should have to go through such a stressful experience for a day longer than is absolutely necessary.
“The catalogue of missed waiting times over the past two years emphasises how incredibly important it is for NHS England to press ahead with plans to implement the cancer strategy for England, which if made a reality will transform cancer care in England.”
Two Month Wait from GP Urgent Referral to a First Treatment for Cancer was breached
- Overall, the target was breached - 82.8% of people began treatment within 62 days of being urgently referred for suspected cancer by their GP.
- Almost 2000 (1,983) people started their treatment late in April 2016.
- More than half of NHS trusts (75) trusts failed to meet the target.
- 1 in 7 (20) NHS trusts missed the target by more than 10%, meaning that these trusts failed to treat a quarter or more of their patients on time
Two Week Wait From GP Urgent Referral to First Consultant Appointment met (dead on at 93%), however
- 40 trusts failed to meet the target
- 10,498 people with suspected cancer were not seen by a specialist with two weeks of urgent GP referral and 3,632 had to wait 3 weeks or more.
For further information, please contact:
Patrick Pringle, Media & PR Team, Macmillan Cancer Support
0207 840 4891 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
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
1 Based on the period May 2013 to April 2016
2 Calculation based on provider Trusts who gave first treatment to at least five people with cancer during April 2016.
3 Excluding Trusts that had less than 5 suspected cancer cases seen by a specialist in April 2016.
 Based on the period May 2013 to April 2016
 Calculation based on provider Trusts who gave first treatment to at least five people with cancer during April 2016.
 Excluding Trusts that had less than 5 suspected cancer cases seen by a specialist in April 2016.