Almost three quarters of
Hospital trusts in England are supposed to begin treatment within 62 days of a GP’s referral in 85 per cent of cases.
But last year only 37 out of 131 managed to hit that target, with 94 keeping seriously ill patients waiting longer.
In the worst performing health systems almost 40 per cent of people had to wait longer than they should, while that figure was less than five per cent in the best.
Experts warned the longer people are made to wait before starting their treatment, the longer it will take them to recover from the ordeal of having cancer.
Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust was the worst performing by the 62-day measure in 2018-19 but the health body said it has already made improvements which should see it hit the NHS’s target by the summer
Figures uncovered by
Five years ago (2013/14) just 36 trusts were missing the 62-day target – that figure rose to 94 for 2018/19.
NHS England as a whole managed to treat just 79.4 per cent of people within 62 days of their urgent referral from a GP, while 32,000 people waited longer.
But there is wide variation among different areas of the country.
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, in Kent, was the worst performing, with just 60.8 per cent of people getting treatment within 62 days.
The hospital body insisted the situation there has improved since the figures were recorded.
A spokesperson said: ‘We have seen a large increase in demand with 23%per cent more suspected cancer referrals now than this time last year.
PATIENTS MORE LIKELY THAN EVER TO WAIT MORE THAN TWO WEEKS TO SEE A CONSULTANT
NHS figures revealed that patients are now more likely to wait more than two weeks to see a consultant than at any other time on record.
At least 93 per cent of people should be seen by a cancer specialist within two weeks of being urgently referred by their GP, the NHS says.
But in April 2019 that figure was just 89.9 per cent, dropping below 90 per cent for the first time since stats began in 2009.
A record high of 19,963 people in England had to wait longer than two weeks to see a consultant after being sent by their doctor.
‘We have made changes to our systems and processes as well as invested in additional staff and facilities to increase the number of patients we see, diagnose and treat.
‘As a result, we have made significant improvements and are already in a much better place than the data published today shows.
‘We are confident that we will hit the national 62 day wait cancer standard in the summer, in a sustainable way going forwards.’
In all, 28 trusts failed to treat even three quarters of their patients on time – a measure that would still be significantly lower than the NHS target.
Wolverhampton, Weston, Southend, Bradford, University College London, Mid Essex, Hull and East Yorkshire and East and North Hertfordshire all treated fewer than 70 per cent of patients on time.
‘The longer people have to wait for diagnosis and get treatment, the longer it will impact them, their health and wellbeing and just getting through that experience,’ Macmillan Cancer Support’s Moira Fraser-Pearce told the BBC.
At the other end of the scale, the NHS in Kingston upon Thames smashed the target and treated 95.9 per cent of people within the 62-day limit.
Frimley, Bolton, Mid Cheshire and Tameside and Glossop all also posted figures higher than 90 per cent.
WHERE DID THE MOST PEOPLE START TREATMENT WITHIN 62 DAYS?
- Kingston Hospital (95.9%)
- Frimley Health (93.6%)
- Mid Cheshire Hospitals (92.2%)
- Bolton (92.2%)
- Tameside & Glossop Integrated Care (90.3%)
- Dartford & Gravesham (89.5%)
- Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh (89.5%)
- Chelsea & Westminster Hospitals (89.4%)
- Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals (88.8%)
- Barnsley Hospital (88.7%)
WHERE DID THE FEWEST PEOPLE START TREATMENT WITHIN 62 DAYS?
- Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells (60.8%)
- The Royal Wolverhampton (62.8%)
- Weston Area Health (67%)
- Southend University Hospital (67%)
- Bradford Teaching Hospitals (67.1%)
- University College London (68.4%)
- Mid Essex Hospital Services (68.5%)
- Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals (69.2%)
- East & North Hertfordshire (69.2%)
- East Kent Hospitals University (70.7%)
Improving cancer survival rates is one of the NHS’s priorities and in its long-term plan this year it said investment would be ramped up in improving diagnostics.
New scanners, rapid diagnosis centres and more staff were all included in plans to boost survival rates.
Monthly figures released today revealed the NHS’s performance has got worse on a number of other key measures.
These included an all-time low in the proportion of patients being seen by a cancer specialist within two weeks of a GP’s referral – the figure dropped below 90 per cent for the first time in April to 89.9 per cent.
Two-week referrals for patients with breast symptoms also dropped to a record low of 75.5 per cent.
|NHS trust||Total patients||% within 62 days||NHS trust||Total patients||% within 62 days|
|Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells||1,464.50||60.8||James Paget University Hospitals||714.5||81.6|
|The Royal Wolverhampton||1,269.50||62.8||The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn||790.5||81.7|
|Weston Area Health||379||67||City Hospitals Sunderland||1,032.50||81.8|
|Southend University Hospital||1,133.50||67||Medway||922.5||81.8|
|Bradford Teaching Hospitals||1,105||67.1||University Hospitals of North Midlands||2,117.50||81.9|
|University College London Hospitals||1,118||68.4||East Cheshire||392.5||81.9|
|Mid Essex Hospital Services||1,365||68.5||University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire||1,341.50||81.9|
|Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals||1,984.50||69.2||Blackpool Teaching Hospitals||1,124||81.9|
|East & North Hertfordshire||1,461||69.2||The Princess Alexandra Hospital||663||82|
|East Kent Hospitals University||2,504.50||70.7||Surrey & Sussex Healthcare||1,112.50||82.1|
|Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals||1,501.50||71.2||Buckinghamshire Healthcare||1,066||82.3|
|Leeds Teaching Hospitals||2,485.50||71.3||South Tees Hospitals||1,919.50||82.5|
|Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals||2,086||71.5||West Hertfordshire Hospitals||986||82.7|
|Royal Surrey County Hospital||1,030||71.6||The Dudley Group||1,131||82.9|
|Guy’s & St Thomas’||1,620||71.7||North Bristol||1,541.50||82.9|
|Oxford University Hospitals||2,153.50||72.3||Poole Hospital||885.5||83.1|
|Worcestershire Acute Hospitals||2,137||72.3||Royal Berkshire||1,436||83.3|
|East Sussex Healthcare||1,408.50||72.7||Imperial College Healthcare||1,109||83.3|
|Royal Devon & Exeter||2,122.50||72.9||Royal United Hospitals Bath||1,322.50||83.4|
|University Hospital Southampton||1,842||73.2||Gateshead Health||780.5||83.5|
|United Lincolnshire Hospitals||2,093.50||73.3||East Lancashire Hospitals||1,358||83.6|
|Sheffield Teaching Hospitals||2,232||73.4||Milton Keynes University Hospital||773||83.8|
|Gloucestershire Hospitals||2,161.50||73.6||Chesterfield Royal Hospital||905||84.1|
|Northern Lincolnshire & Goole||972||74||Portsmouth Hospitals||1,692.50||84.2|
|Pennine Acute Hospitals||1,457.50||74||West Suffolk||939||84.3|
|Isle of Wight||536.5||74.7||North Tees & Hartlepool||780||84.8|
|Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals||743||74.7||London North West Healthcare||1,086||84.9|
|East Suffolk & North Essex NHS Foundation Trust||2,103.50||75.1||Royal Cornwall Hospitals||1,729||85|
|University Hospitals of Leicester||2,840||75.2||The Hillingdon Hospitals||542.5||85.3|
|North Middlesex University Hospital||396||75.5||Walsall Healthcare||524.5||85.5|
|Basildon & Thurrock University Hospitals||1,160||76.2||University Hospitals Bristol||1,326||85.6|
|Bedford Hospital||818||76.8||The Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals||1,510.50||85.7|
|Lewisham & Greenwich||1,028.50||77.1||Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals||997||85.7|
|Taunton & Somerset||1,103||77.4||Great Western Hospitals||1,010||85.8|
|Aintree University Hospital||718||77.5||Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals||1,028.50||85.8|
|Dorset County Hospital||835.5||77.6||Airedale||525||86.2|
|Northern Devon Healthcare||589.5||78.1||The Whittington Hospital||304.5||86.2|
|Northampton General Hospital||1,145||78.1||Harrogate & District||674.5||86.3|
|University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay||1,091.50||78.2||Kettering General Hospital||783.5||86.4|
|Southport & Ormskirk Hospital||484.5||78.2||South Tyneside||163.5||86.5|
|Hampshire Hospitals||1,406.50||78.3||Countess of Chester Hospital||740.5||86.6|
|Northumbria Healthcare||1,135||78.4||Barts Health||1,382.50||86.7|
|University Hospitals Of Derby & Burton NHS Foundation Trust||2,081||78.4||St George’s University Hospitals||782||86.7|
|The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals||2,265||78.6||Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals||871||86.7|
|Stockport||674.5||78.7||Barking, Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals||1,535.50||87|
|Torbay & South Devon||1,106.50||78.9||County Durham & Darlington||1,415||87|
|George Eliot Hospital||361||78.9||Croydon Health Services||669.5||87.3|
|Royal Free London||1,626||79.4||Warrington & Halton Hospitals||497||87.3|
|York Teaching Hospital||1,643||79.4||Wirral University Teaching Hospital||1,084||87.7|
|North West Anglia||1,592.50||79.4||Luton & Dunstable University Hospital||777.5||87.7|
|Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust||1,683||79.5||Homerton University Hospital||356||87.8|
|University Hospitals Birmingham||2,806||79.5||Salford Royal||819.5||88.2|
|Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital||1,744.50||79.5||St Helens & Knowsley Hospital Services||1,020||88.3|
|King’s College Hospital||1,467.50||79.6||Calderdale & Huddersfield||1,152||88.6|
|Nottingham University Hospitals||2,009.50||79.6||Barnsley Hospital||582||88.7|
|Cambridge University Hospitals||1,627.50||79.8||Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals||834.5||88.8|
|Lancashire Teaching Hospitals||1,510.50||79.8||Chelsea & Westminster Hospital||699||89.4|
|South Warwickshire||783||79.9||Dartford & Gravesham||449.5||89.5|
|Western Sussex Hospitals||1,849.50||80.1||Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh||726||89.5|
|Wye Valley||683.5||80.5||Tameside & Glossop Integrated Care||528||90.3|
|Mid Yorkshire Hospitals||1,423||80.5||Mid Cheshire Hospitals||769||92.2|
|Yeovil District Hospital||678||80.8||Bolton||711||92.2|
|The Rotherham||701||81.4||Frimley Health||1,655||93.6|
|Sherwood Forest Hospitals||966||81.4||Kingston Hospital||740.5||95.9|
|North Cumbria University Hospitals||1,102||81.5||NB: It is unclear why some patient numbers end in .5|