A number of cancer targets in England to be scrapped
Within the NHS there are a number of targets which have been a long staple of how to measure our performance in handling both the investigation and the subsequent treatment of cancer. A long standing hangover from the Covid Pandemic saw a number of delays in respect of cancer treatment rise. At present the target is that 85% of patients should have cancer treatment within two months following an urgent GP referral, in terms of performance only 59.2% of patients are receiving this treatment.
One of the most commonly known targets is a ‘two week referral’ for urgent investigations for suspected cancer. This is one of the six target measurables that is expected to be scrapped.
The aim of the reduction on the number of targets is to streamline the process and focus the attention to a clear set of expected outcomes. The overarching issue however is that investment within cancer treatment is simply not good enough. In respect of overall performance Cancer UK published the most recent results on the following Link
It has recently been estimated that a four week delay in receiving cancer surgery can lead to a 6-8% increase in the risk of death. As such it is vital that where targets are implemented that they are hit to the best of the ability of clinicians.
According to research conducted by Capsticks, a large defendant firm, 78.4% of all claims involving a cancer diagnosis were due to a potential delay or failure to refer. As such any increases to missed targets will likely lead to a higher percentage of claims made.
A diagnosis of cancer impacts the whole family and it is an exceptionally difficult time for everyone involved. Even if it is for peace of mind following a suspected delay it is worthwhile speaking to a solicitor if you feel that you should have been diagnosed sooner.