Labour Research shows the NHS in Rochford and Southend East is letting cancer patients down as 33per cent of patients wait more than two months for cancer treatment

Labour analysis of NHS England cancer statistics for January and February 2018 shows that across the country, 4501 patients have waited more than 62 days for cancer treatment so far this year.

There is also high variation by type of cancer, with lung cancer patients least likely to start treatment within the 62 day target.

At Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 33 per cent of people have waited more than 62 days for cancer treatment so far this year. National NHS targets aim for only 15 per cent of people waiting over 62 days.

In January 2018, 71 per cent of patients were seen within 62 days at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and in February 2018 the percentage receiving treatment within 62 days was just 65 per cent. The national NHS target is for 85 per cent of patients to be seen within two months.

Ashley Dalton outside Southend University Hospital
Ashley Dalton outside Southend University Hospital

Labour is calling for a long term plan to invest in frontline cancer staff. Ashley Dalton, Labour’s candidate for Rochford and Southend East said:

“I received cancer treatment myself at Southend University Hospital in 2014. I waited over 31 days for my treatment and the delay was agonising. To wait twice as long must be terrifying.

“A Labour government will fund the NHS properly so that our world class medical staff can do what they do best and patients are diagnosed and treated in good time for the best possible outcomes.”

Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Secretary of State for Health commenting on the news that thousands of patients are waiting too long for cancer treatment, said:

“This winter hundreds of cancer operations were cancelled despite Tory promises the NHS was better prepared than ever before and thousands of patients are still waiting beyond the target of 62 days for treatment after an urgent GP referral.

“Let’s be clear – years of underfunding and abject failure to invest in the frontline doctors and nurses we need means Theresa May is letting down cancer patients.

“To offer cancer patients the best quality of care we need a fully funded, properly staffed NHS. Only Labour offers the NHS the long term investment patients need.”


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