Waiting times for cancer treatment at ‘worst level ever’

  • September 24, 2018
  • Background

    When an urgent referral by a GP for a patient to start cancer treatment is made, the patient should start treatment within 62 days.

    However, as we reported in a recent blog article, a census report carried out by the Royal College of Pathologists (RCP) has found that only 78.2% of patients were seen within this timeframe, against a target of 85%. This is the worst performance since records began in October 2009 which has resulted in over 3,000 patients waiting longer than two months for their treatment to begin.

    NHS England have stated there have been a rising number of cancer cases being referred by GP’s, resulting in a 5% increase in referrals over the past year.

    Statistics have highlighted that during the past year, 125,000 patients were seen within the 62 day target time. However, 28,000 patients waited longer than two months and 11,000 patients waited over three months to be seen.

    This follows a recent study where it was found that over 504,000 patients were waiting more than the target time of 18 weeks for non-urgent operations. The total number of patients currently on the list for routine surgery is 4.12 million, the highest since 2007.

    Dr Fran Woodward, of Macmillan Cancer Support, commented on the figures, stating they are “disappointing” and were “indicative of the immense pressure on the NHS”.


    What our specialists have to say

    Ally Taft, Partner at the Medical Accident Group, said: “Failing to treat patients in a timely manner can result in a delay in treatment and prolonged suffering. It is clear that processes and timeframes need to be improved. I hope this research will aid in highlighting areas where improvements can be made.

    As a highly experienced firm with expert teams based in Birmingham and Worcester, we have secured awards for many clients following negligent medical treatment. If you or a member of your family have suffered from poor medical treatment, Medical Accident Group can help. Our team of specialist medical negligence solicitors have over 30 years’ experience. We will guide you through the process of making a claim. If you believe you have a claim call the team now on 0800 050 1668.

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