10 December 2015
Commenting on new cancer waiting times published for October, Dr Fran Woodard, Director of Policy and Impact at Macmillan Cancer Support said:
“Eighteen consecutive months of missing the cancer waiting time target for first treatment following an urgent GP referral is a depressing milestone for the NHS. More than a quarter of patients did not begin their treatment in time in 24 trusts in October[i]. Over the last six years[ii] more than 100,000 cancer patients have had to wait more than two months for their first treatment.
“Unless urgent action is taken the NHS will continue to miss these targets, and this unacceptable number will increase as more people are diagnosed with cancer each year.
“Speedy access to treatment should be a prerequisite for all cancer patients. People should not be left to linger at such an emotionally difficult and isolating time. These figures confirm the real need for an overhaul of cancer care in England. That is why the government and NHS must fully fund the recommendations laid out in the cancer strategy for England which was published earlier this year.”
For further information, please contact:
Patrick Pringle, Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
0207 840 4891 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
[i] NHS England. Provider based cancer waiting times. https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/cancer-waiting-times/ Figures cited are based on Macmillan analysis of the data for providers that treated more than five patients in the time period in question.
[ii] Total number people receiving first cancer treatment after 62 days of a urgent GP referral between November 2009 to October 2015
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.
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