Recent statistics released by NHS England show that hospitals are falling short of target waiting times in respect of cancer patients.
In June 2016, only 81.4 per cent of patients suffering from cancer were seen by a specialist within 62 days.
According to Government guidelines, at least 85 per cent of cancer patients should be seen by a specialist within 62 days of being diagnosed.
The target for treating patients with breast symptoms where cancer is not initially suspected was also missed in June 2016. At least 93 per cent of these patients should be seen by a specialist within 14 days of a GP referral. However, the figures show that only 92.9 per cent of patients were seen in this time.
Cancer Research UK’s Emma Greenwood responded to these findings by saying “worsening” figures showed “thousands of cancer patients are being failed”.
She added “England’s cancer survival already lags behind comparable countries and will only get worse if the target continues to be breached. This cannot be allowed to continue.”
Charity Breast Cancer Care said that the missed targets were “concerning”.
Studies conducted by Cancer Research UK show that 80 per cent of patients with one of eight common cancers survive for at least ten years if the disease is detected in its early stages. However, this figure drops dramatically to 25 per cent when the disease is diagnosed in its later stages and tumours have spread to the bones and organs.
Dr Fran Woodard, Director of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, pointed out that “delays in accessing treatment can often leave people feeling upset, anxious or distressed”.
She added “we have a duty to give these people timely access to treatment at what can be an incredibly difficult and isolating time in their lives.”
Macmillan Cancer Support are actively encouraging the Government to urgently boost funding for cancer patients in the NHS.
At Wolferstans we recognise the devastating effect that cancer can have on individuals and their families and have an experienced team of medical negligence lawyers who can provide help and support during these difficult times.
We regularly act for clients who have suffered as a result of a delay in diagnosing a wide range of cancers, including breast cancer, bowel cancer and lung cancer and succeed in recovering damages for them and their families where their condition has become terminal.
If you have experienced a delay in either being referred or treated for cancer, then please telephone Ann Ball on 01752 292374 or e-mail email@example.com for a free consultation regarding your legal rights in pursuing a potential medical negligence claim.