More than 100,000 wait at least two weeks to be seen by a cancer specialist

The Guardian has reported that more than 100,000 patients waited longer than two weeks to see a cancer specialist last year. This is despite them being urgently referred by their GP.

In 2016, 102,697 people did not see a consultant within two weeks of referral, according to analysis by the House of Commons Library. The research was requested by Jonathan Ashworth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health.

The Government target directs that 93 per cent of patients should be seen by a specialist within two weeks, this was achieved in 2015/16 with 94.3 per cent but was down from 95.9 per cent in 2011/12. The analysis found that 25 out of 157 NHS trusts did not meet the 93 per cent target.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: "“The NHS treated over 110,000 patients – 82 per cent – within the target of 62 days last year, as the NHS rises to the challenge of an increase in urgent referrals for suspected cancer of over 90 per cent compared to 2009/10”.

The Guardian article can be accessed online here.

Page published: Fri 21 April 2017

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