Cancer waiting times – worst on record

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The BBC has reported that they have analysed cancer waiting times in England for 2023, which are the worst on record.

For the last 11 years cancer waiting times have increased year on year. According to the BBC, “only 64% of patients started treatment within 62 days of cancer being suspected”.

Cancer records started over 13 years ago, in 2010. A cancer target was introduced, but we are consistently missing it.

Cancer Research UK has interesting statistics demonstrating that Denmark has seen massive progress in cancer survival rates compared with other countries. The UK is not all bad news; there have been some improvements in the survival rates for certain cancers, but there is a long way to go.

The BBC confirmed that improvements have been made. In the last year (2023), 72% of patients were diagnosed or told they had not got cancer within 28 days of urgent referral.
Although this is good news, 28% of patients still fall outside of this bracket.

Amanda Cavanagh, Associate in Ashtons Legal’s Medical Negligence team, comments: “It is surprising and disappointing that we fall behind other countries in terms of cancer detection and survival rates, bearing in mind we have some of the best facilities in the world. However, funding and the capacity of diagnostic services are the biggest challenge that cancer patients face and will continue to face without additional crucial funding.”

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