Delays in cancer treatment causing concern

Monday 9th July 2018

It is a well known statistic that cancer will affect one in three people in their lifetimes. Regrettably, as clinical negligence solicitors, we regularly deal with cases involving treatment and diagnosis of cancers of all kinds.

However, the lives of cancer patients are being put at risk, experts say, as the NHS struggles to see people quickly enough.

Patients are meant to start cancer treatment within 62 days of it being suspected, but nowhere in the UK has achieved this for more than two years.

It means one in six patients are now waiting longer than they should, a recent analysis of official figures found. It comes as data in England showed last-minute cancellations of operations have hit an all-time high.

There were more than 25,000 late cancelled operations from January to March – the highest since records began in the mid-1990s.

Fran Woodard, of Macmillan Cancer Support, said the situation was “extremely dispiriting”.

“Long waits to start cancer treatment can make an already difficult time even more distressing and unbearable, while also raising the possibility of someone’s health deteriorating further,” she said.

As clinical negligence specialists, we are acutely aware of the distress that a diagnosis of cancer causes clients, and that the sooner diagnosis and treatment is started, the better the outcome. With these figures indicating that the NHS is struggling to cope with the sheer number of patients, it compounds the problem even further when there are additional delays in diagnosis or treatment by failures in care such as failing to order the right tests, or failing to properly review x-rays and scans.

If you feel that you have been affected by a late diagnosis or treatment of cancer, do not hesitate to contact us for expert advice on seeking compensation.