There has been a surge in number of cancer patients waiting to see a specialist with a third of hospitals and clinics missing the two-week referral target.
The number of cancer patients waiting more than three weeks to see an oncologist jumped 73% this winter to more than 8,800, figures show.
The analysis by the British Medical Association (BMA) also reveals more than a third of hospitals and cancer clinics missed the two-week GP-to-specialist target in January, up 15% on the same period in 2018.
As well as the two-week target, NHS bosses must ensure that 85% of patients begin their first treatment for cancer within 62 days of being urgently referred by a GP. However, only 76% were seen in this window, according to the figures reported by The Telegraph.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA council, said forcing a patient to wait two months for their first cancer treatment is shameful for a leading nation, adding: “As a doctor, I can imagine only too well the distress this will cause to them and their families.”
He said the recent figures illustrate the need for more staff and funding.
“The government needs to realise that the crisis in the NHS is not going away as our health service struggles in an underfunded and understaffed environment against a backdrop of rising patient demand,” he argued.
This article was first published in HI daily. You can read the original article here.