The national statistics on waiting times for suspected and diagnosed cancer patients accessing NHS services were today (29 August 2014) released by NHS England for the first quarter of 2014-15. In response to these figures, Breast Cancer Campaign has issued the following comment:
Mia Rosenblatt, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Breast Cancer Campaign, said:
“The statistics on cancer waiting times in England released today show that the two-week wait target for suspected breast cancer has been missed for the first quarter of 2014-15, which is a real shock and a serious disappointment.
“Over a long period, compliance with the target has been consistent and performance has frequently been well above the actual target level. Although we recognise that there has recently been an increasing number of people being referred with suspected breast cancer – requiring additional resources – this sudden failure to meet the waiting times target is extremely worrying and requires urgent action by the Department of Health and NHS England.
“The value of the two-week wait for breast cancer has been long established. It is vital that women are given their diagnosis as soon as possible, both to minimise the distress caused by the uncertainty of waiting and so that treatment can begin as soon as possible, giving women the best chance of survival.”