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NHS waiting times for A&E and cancer treatment continue to rise

NHS England data shows A&E targets have not been meet since 2015

WAITING times for cancer treatments are continuing to grow while A&E target have not been met since 2015, NHS England said today.

Only 84 per cent of patients were seen within the four-hour A&E target last month, new data shows — and nearly one in four cancer patients do not start treatment on time.

January figures show the worst performance on record with only 76 per cent of the target being met.

Hospitals are meant to start cancer treatment within 62 days of an urgent GP referral, with 85 per cent of patients targeted to start treatment within this timeframe.

Nearly 228,000 patients have been waiting more than six months for treatment, with 36,857 others waiting more than nine months.

In January, 4.16 million people were waiting to start treatment.

NHS England is currently reviewing targets and could scrap both.

Shadow health and social care secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “Today waiting lists have grown again while the A&E target hasn’t been met since July 2015.

“For hospitals to report the worst-ever A&E four-hour waits in the same week NHS England announced plans to abandon the target exposes the reality of nine years of austerity, understaffing and mismanagement of our NHS.
 
“It’s especially shameful that we have also seen the worst performance on record for patients to be seen for cancer treatment within two months.
 
“Behind each of these statistics is a patient waiting longer in pain and anguish."

An NHS spokeswoman said that more people than ever before are coming forward for cancer checks and that an additional £10 million will be invested this year to treat extra people.

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