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Corbyn grills Cameron on cancer diagnostics waits

The Prime Minister has been taken to task by Jeremy Corbyn over the 36% increase in the number of people waiting more than six weeks for cancer diagnostic tests.

In Prime Ministers Questions today, the leader of the opposition also said that targets to start cancer treatment within 62 days of diagnosis had not been met for 19 months.

He noted that the number of training places for clinical radiologists had dropped by 5%, despite calls to increase numbers in training.

David Cameron admitted that the Government was ’currently falling short of the 62 days target’, but added that the target for 93% patients to be seen by a specialist within two weeks of an urgent GP referral was also currently being exceeded.

Pulse has already shown how drives to boost cancer diagnosis amidst funding squeeze have caused problems for GPs after CCGs began offering incentive payments for GPs to reduce referrals, including cancer referrals, sparking an NHS England inquiry.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Vinci Ho

    One medical concept politicians can never understand is called False Positive and Positive Predictive Value in any screening. When you lower the threshold of triggering further investigations by this 2 week rule. The new criteria to refer laid down by NICE generated many more false positives and the resources required to rule in or out cancers , need to be disproportionately more substantial . Hence , even more investment will be necessary to cover these 'wastage' called false positives. Reminds me of the concept of 'entropy' in the second law of thermodynamics.
    Similar philosophy prevails in John Appleby's article in lastest edition of BMJ: A 7/7 NHS: what price equity ? He gave the figure of £30,000 to 48,000 per QALY saved (Meacock and colleagues) to provide a possible solution to this excess deaths attributed to the so called weekend admission effect , hard sold by the health secretary .
    The mentality of politicians is simple : they want more but they are not willing to cough up more money , an amount far more than one could imagine . Instead,they keep going on with this efficiency saving stifling the existing but already thin resources.

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  • Samuel Lewis

    or to put PPV more simply - for every right action, how many wrong'uns must there be ?

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