548 people left waiting two months to start cancer treatment

7 Mar 2023

New research from the House of Commons Library, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has revealed that 548 people were stuck waiting for more than two months before receiving treatment at Barts Health NHS Trust.

These figures meant, in 2022, at Barts NHS Trust, 39% had to wait more than two months for treatment to start.

Barts Health NHS Trust has not hit the target of 85% of patients receiving a first treatment for cancer within 62 days of an urgent GP referral since 2020.

Liberal Democrats in Waltham Forest have called these new figures “horrifying”.

Nationally, more than 66,000 patients were forced to wait more than two months for their first treatment last year after a referral.

Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to hire more staff, especially specialist cancer nurses. The party is also calling for a comprehensive strategy to ensure all those who have been left behind are offered timely cancer diagnosis and treatment and that targets be met as soon as possible.

Commenting on cancer waiting times in Waltham Forest, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Leyton & Wanstead, Tara Copeland said:

“The Government has been driving our local health services into the ground and taking patients for granted for years, Waltham Forest deserves better.

“Delays to cancer diagnoses and treatments are incredibly distressing for those with cancer and those who fear they may have it.

“This Conservative Government has its head in the sand over staff shortages and no real plan to fix it.

“They must get a handle on this crisis so cancer patients get the urgent care they need to give them the best chance of survival and recovery.”

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