Cancer patients failed by consecutive breach of '62 day wait' target

Cancer Research UK

CANCER patients are again being failed as new figures* released today show that the 62-day-wait target for treatment has failed to be met for the seventh consecutive quarter in England.

Emma Greenwood, Cancer Research UK’s head of policy, said: “These latest figures reveal a deeply worrying picture. It has now been nearly two years since the target of 85 per cent of cancer patients being treated within two months of a referral for cancer has been met. This means over 21,000 patients have faced unacceptable delays to their diagnosis and treatment.

“Those reliant on the health service to look after them are bearing the brunt of this repeated failure. The 85 per cent target is there to ensure cancer is quickly diagnosed and patients begin treatment soon after, so failing to meet this yet again is not good enough. Investigating suspected cancer can be an extremely difficult time for patients and their families and they need to have confidence that their health is being taken seriously and is a priority for the NHS.

“This cannot continue. Urgent action must be taken to deliver the recommendations in the new Cancer Strategy – including investment in diagnostics – to support the NHS and ensure it has the resources it needs to meet this challenge.”

Notes to Editor

* https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/provider-based-cancer-waiting-times-for-q2-2015-16/

Breached target

62 day wait: 82.1% (target 85%) – an increase of 0.1 percentage points from the previous quarter

75 out of 156 (48%) trusts failed to meet the target.

There were 35,693 patients in total requiring treatment following an urgent GP referral and of these patients 29,296 were treated within 62 days meaning thousands (around 6,400) of patients were failed.

Met target

Two week wait: 93.5% (target 93%) – decrease of 0.1 percentage points from the previous quarter.

This matches the lowest recorded performance to date (93.5% Q1 2014/15).

31 day wait: 97.6% (target 96%) – increase of 0.1 percentage points on previous quarter