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Nearly 2,000 patients now waiting longer for cancer treatment



Hospitals in England have again breached key waiting targets including those for prompt treatment of cancer, latest NHS statistics show.

The figures for last November showed that nationally only 83.5% of patients diagnosed with cancer started treatment within two months of urgent referral by the GP, falling below the target of 85% for the nineteenth consecutive month.

Indeed, almost half of trusts – 71 out of 148 – missed this 62-day wait target, meaning nearly 2,000 patients had to wait longer for treatment, according to charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

Lynda Thomas, chief executive of Macmillan, said it was ‘truly disheartening that key cancer waiting times are yet again in breach of the recommended targets’.

She added: ’These new waiting time figures reinforce the urgent need for improvements in cancer care in England and that is why the Government and NHS must fully fund and implement the recommendations laid out in the cancer strategy, to ensure people get the best possible care and support.’