Cancer waiting times
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) sets out that patients who are urgently referred to a specialist with a suspicion of cancer are seen within two weeks. Patients who are diagnosed with cancer must then receive first treatment within 31 days of a consultant’s decision to proceed. Guidelines also state that all patients who have been referred by their GP to be seen within two weeks and then receive a diagnosis of cancer are treated within 62 days of the date of receipt of the referral.
All subsequent treatments (surgery, radiotherapy, drug therapy or palliative care) must be delivered within 31 days of the decision to treat agreed with the patient.
This standard is to see 93% of urgent GP referrals for patients with suspected cancer within two weeks. There were some issues with breast service capacity that affected performance in the first half of the year. Once these were addressed we consistently met this target despite the ongoing increase in demand. The standard was not achieved in January 2016 due to large volumes of patients choosing to defer their appointment over the Christmas period.