Third of cancer patients waiting more than two months to receive treatment

ONE in three cancer patients are waiting more than two months to receive treatment.

More than 4,400 patients in England had to wait longer than the NHS targets, the highest on record.

And in October, a shocking 42,400 people waited beyond the two-week target to get an urgent first cancer appointment, damning new statistics unveiled by Labour have revealed.

The NHS aims for least 85 per cent of patients to start their cancer treatment within two months, but the target hasn’t been met for at least six years.

And the number waiting more than two months trebled between 2010 and 2019 — before the pandemic hit and put even more pressure on health services.

NHS chiefs are worried that mounting Covid cases and increased staff absences will delay treatments even more.

Shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting, who himself recently recovered from cancer, said: “I can have no complaints about my own treatment for kidney cancer this year, I owe the NHS my life. But I could see how overstretched staff are.

“Patients have been left waiting too long for cancer treatment for years.”

An NHS spokesman said: “Staff have gone above and beyond to support and care for patients, with 95 per cent of people starting treatment for cancer during the pandemic doing so within 31 days.”

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