Earlier this year, we reported on the new cancer task force, set up to combat long waiting times for diagnoses in England – 25% of which were being made too late. Now, further plans have been unveiled, including a target of 95% of people being given a diagnosis or the all-clear within 28 days of being referred by their GP, by 2020.
Figures released in May showed that more than 21,000 people had not been treated within 62 days of their cancer diagnosis in the last financial year, and the NHS had failed to achieve its own targets for treatment. According to these, 85% of cancer patients should be treated within 62 days of being urgently referred by their GP, but just 83.4% were seen on time in 2014-15. While survival rates have been improving, England still lags behind some of the best performing countries. A cross-party committee of MPs recently warned that England’s cancer services had “lost momentum”.
Read more: New measures to deliver faster diagnoses