Figures published by NHS England reveal that the 62 day NHS target from an urgent referral to the start of cancer treatment has been missed both nationally, and in Cumbria.
According to the NHS constitution, hospitals are supposed to begin to treat 85% of those referred by their GP with suspected cancer, within 62 days of referral. However, nationally just 82% of those patients began their first treatment in the last quarter of 2015/16, and that figure fell to just 80% for the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust.
In fact, 45 people in Cumbria, of 6010 people nationally, had to wait over 62 days between diagnosis and the start of treatment. Worryingly, 14 of those in Cumbria and 1512 nationally had to wait over 104 days.
Jamie Reed MP has called upon the Secretary of State for Health to take immediate action to support people who receive a cancer diagnosis to access timely treatment.
Copeland MP Jamie Reed said:
“The Health Secretary must step up, take responsibility for his stewardship of the NHS, and provide it with the resources that it needs to ensure that the 62-day referral to start of cancer treatment target is met.
“A cancer diagnosis is incredibly worrying and stressful for patients and their families, and they should never have to wait for extended periods of time to start treatment. Patients need and deserve swift support, care and treatment.
“Here in West Cumbria and across the UK, NHS staff work tirelessly to care for and treat people battling cancer. It’s time that the Government provided them with the resources and support that they need to ensure timely access to cancer treatment”.