Over 2014/2015, figures have shown that the NHS has failed to meet their targets for treating the most common types of cancer, despite the Government’s pledge to improve cancer care.
The current operational standards set by the Government state that 85% of cancer patients should receive treatment within 62 days after a referral made by their GP.
In early 2013, figures showed that this target was outdone by the NHS with 87% of cancer referrals commencing treatment within the 62 day time frame. However, over the period of 2013/2014 there has been a steady decline, with the target being missed for the first time ever in late 2014, when the figure dropped to 84.1%.
The figures have declined further still, with the latest annual report showing just 83.4% of cancer patients receiving surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy within the accepted timescales.
The reasons for this decline are unclear, with some experts suggesting that the financial cutbacks imposed by the Government carry the most blame and that patient care is suffering as a result.
It is widely accepted across all specialisms that the quicker cancer is detected and treated, the greater a person’s chance of survival. It is a worry that the latest figures show a potential U-turn in the fight against one of Britain’s biggest killers and urgent action needs to be taken to prevent people’s lives being put at risk.
However, despite this decline in care, NHS England have found that the number of patients being referred with cancer symptoms is increasing rapidly, seeing an 18% rise in the last year alone with a 51% rise over the last 5 years.
This begs the question as to whether we are diagnosing cancer faster than we can treat it and what the NHS can do to ensure that the care provided is consistent on all levels.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers help people who have suffered from delayed or wrong diagnosis of cancer due to Medical Negligence.
For a free consultation call the Medical Negligence Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online and we will call you.