Brighton cancer patients wait longer for treatment Brighton News

The proportion of cancer patients starting treatment within two months at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust fell to an all-time high in February, figures show.

As the NHS performance against the two-month target also bottomed out nationally, Macmillan Cancer Support said the latest statistics reveal the lasting impact of the coronavirus pandemic on cancer services. .

NHS data shows that in Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, the NHS Trust, only 57.7% of cancer patients started treatment within 62 days of an urgent referral to a GP in February.

That was down from 69.8% in January, and the lowest rate since records began in 2009.

That means 47 patients waited more than two months in February and confidence has fallen well below the 85% target set over a decade ago.

Across England, just 69.7% of patients received cancer treatment within two months of an urgent referral in February – the worst performance on record.

This means that the NHS target has not been met for almost three years.

And while there were a few more referrals for urgent cancer investigations in February compared to the previous month, Macmillan said the number of people starting treatment “remains below what one might expect. expect”.

Sara Bainbridge, head of policy for the charity, said: “This data further illustrates the catastrophic impact of Covid-19 on cancer diagnosis and treatment.

“It is essential that cancer services continue to be a priority and that people with cancer are not forgotten.

“To meet the considerable challenges ahead, the NHS urgently needs a fully funded long-term plan for its workforce, ensuring that there are more dedicated staff capable of delivering the best caring for cancer patients now and in the future. ”

Health workers have faced enormous pressure throughout the pandemic, which has increased wait times in hospitals.

A group of MPs, charities and royal colleges is calling on the government to provide urgent funding for cancer services to tackle the backlog caused by Covid-19 and ‘save thousands of lives ”.

A statement, signed by doctors and organizations, including Cancer Research UK and the Institute of Cancer Policy, says: ‘We further urge the government to recognize that in order to catch up with the cancer backlog, NHS services need support. ‘tools to “super-boost” capacity. above prepandemic levels.

“This means revisiting some aspects of the budget and expenditure review to limit urgent investments in cancer.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Affairs said the government is committed to providing high quality cancer care, with cancer diagnosis and treatment remaining “a top priority” throughout the pandemic .

“More than 2.5 million urgent referrals have been made on time in the past year alone and for every coronavirus patient, two cancer patients have received treatment,” they added.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-11 04:56:00