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Patients waiting longer than ever for cancer treatment from GP referral

Patients waiting longer than ever for cancer treatment from GP referral

By Anviksha Patel
15 April 2019

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Almost one in four patients waited longer than two months to start cancer treatment from a GP referral – the highest ever – a new report has shown.

New analysis of NHS performance data from The Nuffield Trust has reported that in February, 23.9% of patients waited over two months to start treatment.

That is an increase of 4.8 percentage points from the previous year and a small increase of 0.1 percentage point from last month.

The target of waiting for 62-days to start cancer treatment is still not being met, with the analysis stating that the target has not been met in over three years.

This comes as an NHS England report found NHS trusts have been breaching the national standard every quarter since 2014.

The report also looked into A&E waiting times and found that in March 2019, 13.4% of A&E attendants spent over the four-hour target, under which patients should be seen and/or discharged within four hours of arrival.

Compared to the previous month, the figure is a 2.4 percentage point drop and a two percentage point decrease from March 2018.

Additionally, only ten out of 134 major A&E departments met the four-hour target in March.

Earlier last month, NHS England said it was considering scrapping the four-hour A&E target due to ‘well-documented issues’.

A version of this story was first published on our sister publication Pulse.

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