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New analysis shows the “horrific” extent of Colchester’s cancer wait times

by martingosscolchesterppc on 24 April, 2022

New research from the House of Commons Library, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has shown huge disparities in cancer care across England revealing a crisis in Colchester

The headlines from the research have been branded “horrific” by Colchester’s Liberal Democrats, they show:  

  • This winter, from November 2021 to February 2022 almost 3,435 patients in Colchester waited longer than two weeks to see a consultant after an urgent referral from their GP. 
  • In Colchester, 5172 people waited longer than 28 days to get a cancer diagnosis from a specialist after an urgent referral from their GP. 
  • Furthermore, 194, waited a month or more to begin their first treatment after a decision to treat the cancer.
  • Even more worryingly 519 are waiting two months or more to start cancer  treatment after a referral.

Nationally, this winter, from November 2021 to February 2022 almost 195,000 patients waited longer than two weeks to see a consultant after an urgent referral from their GP. The NHS target is for 93% of patients to be seen within this time but across England, nearly a quarter of people don’t see a consultant for that urgent appointment.

The data shows Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust as one of the worst waiting times in the country for cancer waiting times, with only just over half of people seeing a specialist within 28 days of referral by the GP, while nearby Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust nearly 9 in 10 of people do. Similarly, Birmingham Women’s And Children’s NHS Foundation Trust sees 89% of people in 28 days but down the road at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust only 55% are.

Ahead of the local elections, the Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to hire more staff, especially specialist cancer nurses. The party is also calling for a comprehensive strategy to ensure all those who have been left behind are offered timely cancer diagnosis and treatment and that targets be met as soon as possible.

Commenting on cancer waiting times in Colchester, Liberal Democrat Martin Goss, said:

“The Government has been driving our local health services into the ground and taking patients for granted for years, Colchester deserves better.  My mum died from cancer so this issue couldn’t be closer to my heart or of utmost importance!

“Delays to cancer diagnoses and treatments are incredibly distressing for those with cancer and those who fear they may have it.

“This Conservative Government has its head in the sand over staff shortages and no real plan to fix it, there must be action to fix this horrific crisis. 

“They must get a handle on this crisis so cancer patients get the urgent care they need to give them the best chance of survival and recovery.”

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