Cancer patients are waiting too long for treatment

  • Posted

Posted 30/07/2014

Carole Watts 1397335422_CaroleWattsCPX.jpg

In 2009 the NHS introduced a number of service standards in relation to cancer waiting times for out-patient services and hospital treatment. One of the standards requires that all patients with cancer must not wait longer than 62 days from the time their GP refers them urgently to a specialist to the time their treatment begins.  

On 30 May 2014 official figures from NHS England reported that cancer treatment targets have been missed and the figures were worse for patients with lung cancer, urological cancers and gastrointestinal cancers than for those with breast cancer or skin cancer. 

This week it has also been reported that waiting times are lengthening for patients suffering from major cancers including prostate and bladder cancer.  

Carole Watts, Medical Injury Lawyer at Ashtons Legal commented that “we must not forget that there have been huge improvements in cancer treatments over the years which has lead to a better qualify of life and increased prospects of survival for cancer patients.

However, it is still disappointing to hear reports of delays in providing cancer treatments as speed of delivery of treatment is of upmost importance in cancer cases. The UK already has some of the worse survival rates in Europe and it is important that the NHS continues to improve its cancer services so that we can increase the survival prospects of cancer sufferers in line with the rest of Europe. 

We also need to remember the human cost of delays in treatment as this leads to more anxiety for the patient and their family and more lives are being put at risk. At such a difficult time in the lives of cancer sufferers and their families it is essential that measures are taken to stop any further decline in cancer care and that targets for treatment are maintained.” 


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