Cancer patients in Northampton waiting too long for treatment went up 20 per cent in one year

An anti-skin cancer lamp being demonstrated on a Northampton patient
An anti-skin cancer lamp being demonstrated on a Northampton patient

The number of cancer patients waiting more than 62 days for their first chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other treatment at NGH is on the rise, according to latest figures.

The number waiting longer than the national target time was 195 in the whole of 2014 versus 158 in 2013.

We fully recognise that more needs to be done across the organisation to achieve the standard and work is ongoing to address this

NGH spokesman

Of those, eight had breast cancer, 38 had stomach cancer, 20 had lung cancer, six had skin cancer and 11 had bladder, kidney or prostate cancer.

At Kettering General Hospital the number of patients waiting too long increased by 52 per cent from 2013.

Patients have a right to receive their first treatment within 62 days of receiving an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer, according to the NHS Constitution. However, the NHS in England missed the target for all four quarters in 2014.

Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Health Secretary for Labour, which compiled the official NHS figures, said: “Ministers have left families facing anxious waits for cancer tests and treatment and their complacency is dangerous.”

NGH said factors that affect its ability to hit the target included capacity, late referrals and patients needing further investigations.

A spokesman said: “We fully recognise that more needs to be done across the organisation to achieve the standard and work is ongoing to address this.”