NHS England struggling to meet cancer waiting list targets

More than 2,000 people waited more than two months to start treatment in May, new figures show | story via The Guardian

The NHS is under fire for leaving cancer patients facing stressful delays before starting treatment because hospitals cannot cope with the growing number of people suspected to have the disease.

New NHS figures show hospitals in England failed to ensure people with suspected breast cancer were seen by a specialist within 14 days and that enough cancer patients had their first treatment within 62 days of referral by their GP.

Hospitals are meant to treat 85% of those suspected to have cancer within 62 days of their GP referring them. But just 81.4% of such patients underwent their first treatment in May, according to the service’s latest monthly performance statistics, which showed the service had also breached a number of other key targets.

That was down from 82.8% the previous month and means the service has not met the target at all in 2016, which in turn has left more than 10,000 patients waiting longer than the NHS Constitution says they should. The NHS has only met the target once since January 2015.

Full story online via The Guardian

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