Cancer diagnosis target in England unmet

OVER 65,000 people in England wait longer than 28 days to find out whether they have cancer each month, according to estimates by Cancer Research UK.

The figure is based on data from the Faster Diagnosis Standard (FDS), a performance standard introduced by Government in 2021 to capture how long people on certain cancer-related referrals wait for a diagnosis.

The current FDS target is set at 75 per cent, meaning three quarters of people being urgently referred should be told they have cancer or given the all-clear within that timeframe. This target has yet to be met.

The data has also revealed major variation across the country, with only 78 of 143 trusts meeting the 75 per cent target.

Michelle Mitchell, our chief executive of Cancer Research UK, commented: "As a country we should not be willing to accept that over 1 in 4 people on an urgent referral are left waiting over a month to find out whether they have cancer. Nor should we stand for the variation that exists across the country."

The charity is calling on Government to include a more ambitious target within its upcoming 10-year cancer plan, to help ensure around 54,300 more people each month receive a diagnosis or have cancer ruled out within a month.

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