NHS Cancer wait times of 14 days are not being hit and that is not good news for those suffering from this awful disease, as it means sufferers are not being seen in time.

This means that there are thousands of people who are still not seen, and this is simply not good enough Mr Health Secretary. The disease is a terrifying thing to have to cope with at the best of times, and now in this time of Covid 19 they seem to have been neglected constantly.

There is a drop of GP referrals but there is next to no chance of getting a GP appointment to begin with, and most of the time you are fighting with a receptionist just to get through. I am lucky with my GP as I finally got an appointment after trying for 2 weeks but I do not have cancer. Can you imagine the terrifying prospect of NOT getting to speak to the GP. Maybe it would be better to actually make one GP the point of contact for all Cancer patients in their surgery and maybe it could get thinks moving. Surely telling the staff and putting out an email prioritising help for those who are most in need…could be a start.

This pandemic must not be allowed to interfere with the need for Cancer help and treatment. If necessary take the monies from elsewhere. Say for instance the operations for knees etc. I know that a lot of people are in pain with their knees….heck so am I but needs must and if we are having to make cuts then make it in the areas where people don’t die if they have to wait.

Pictured: The percentage of cancer patients seen within two weeks of an urgent referral over the last decade. In August 2020, 87.8 per cent of referrals were seen within two weeks. It means some 20,698 suspected patients had to wait longer. The figure is down from 89.4 per cent in August 2019 and lower than the standard of 93 per cent over the past decade
ictured: The percentage of cancer patients seen within two weeks of an urgent referral over the last decade. In August 2020, 87.8 per cent of referrals were seen within two weeks. It means some 20,698 suspected patients had to wait longer. The figure is down from 89.4 per cent in August 2019 and lower than the standard of 93 per cent over the past decade

Cancer treatment has become on the biggest casualties of the Covid 19 pandemic and I feel so deeply sorry for the people having to wait. Surely we have not sunk that low that we can so easily dismiss people who are so desperate for help.

I feel strongly that the Health Secretary is just not up to the task ahead and he needs to be replaced by someone who can. This is peoples lives that are being held in the balance and are we really not able to cope with the pandemic and Cancer? Cancer is something that we have been treating for years and this should not make any difference when dealing with Covid 19. I think this is almost a threat aimed at shock….well it has.

Macmillan Cancer Charity pointed out the NHS England data today revealed:

  • LOWER GP REFERRALS: The number of people in England being seen by a specialist for suspected cancer following an urgent referral by their GP was 169,660 in August 2020. This is around 30,700 lower than it was the same time last year, a drop of 15 per cent.  
  • FEWER SUSPECTED CANCER PATIENTS SEEN IN TWO WEEKS: 87.8 per cent of those who saw a specialist did so within two weeks of their initial urgent referral – this is the worst result on record in England for this cancer waiting times target.  
  • 22% FEWER PATIENTS STARTING TREATMENT: 20,177 patients started treatment for cancer in August 2020. Under normal circumstances, this figure would be expected to be around 25,800 – a reduction of 22 per cent and 5,600 people. 
  • 9% FEWER PATIENTS HAVING SURGERY: The number of people having surgery as a subsequent treatment for cancer was around 4,000 in August 2020. This is lower than last month’s figures and a nine per cent drop than what would be expected compared to previous years.
  • 18% FEWER PATIENTS STARTED TREATMENT AFTER REFERRAL: Under normal circumstances, around 13,700 people in England start treatment for cancer following urgent GP referral for suspected cancer specifically every month (i.e. excluding those diagnosed through other routes, e.g. cancer screening). In August 2020, this figure was 11,197, which means the number of people starting treatment following an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer is around 2,500 lower, a drop of 18 per cent.
  • 82% FEWER PEOPLE TREATED LOWER CANCER SCREENINGS: 82 per cent fewer people in England started treatment for cancer following a cancer screening appointment in August 2020 compared to August 2019. Just over half of these people (56 per cent) started treatment within 62 days of their screening appointment, against a target of 90 per cent. 

10,000 HAVE WAITED MORE THAN A YEAR FOR A ROUTINE OP 

The NHS data released today showed the number of people waiting more than a year to start hospital treatment is at its highest level since 2008 — 111,026 patients. 

In August 2019, the figure was 90 times lower, at just 1,236. Those affected are patients waiting for planned, non-urgent surgery such as hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery or kidney stone removal.  (My argument is if you can live with it then prioritise the Cancer patients)

Waiting times are expected to increase even further over the coming months because hospitals must enforce stricter infection control measures, including social distancing. This means only a limited number of patients can attend clinics or stay overnight on wards and theatres must be more thoroughly cleaned between procedures, meaning fewer operations can take place.

Patients coming in for routine surgery also have to be tested beforehand and self isolate, which can be a difficult feat.  The number of people waiting more than 18 weeks to start hospital treatment also tripled in August compared to the same month last year.

Some 1.96million people had waited more than 18 weeks for treatment in August, around three times the number for August 2019 (662,043). It’s the second highest total for any calendar month since records began in August 2007. But the figure is down slightly from the number for July 2020, which was 2.15million, suggesting some progress is being made.

It is becoming somewhat clear that the NHS is struggling with the leadership already and we are not even in Winter, and rather than the already dire situation getting to the point of tipping why not swallow your pride Boris and put someone in who can deal with it. After all we the public will not get the 5* treatment that many in the Government will get, and we have to wait for the NHS.

Whilst it is still a fabulous thing they are struggling and if they have no faith in the leadership at the top, then expect total crash and fail if it carries on. No Cancer sufferer should have to deal with this awful disease because of money, lack of leadership or both.