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Cancer: Health Services

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 149350, tabled on 4 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what methodology his (a) Department and (b) NHS England have used to calculate the volume of the backlog of cancer patients awaiting (a) screening and (b) treatment that has accrued as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will publish those calculations.

Answered on

2 March 2021

National Health Service screening programmes do not hold waiting lists, therefore there is no published waiting time data. Eligible patients are invited to participate in NHS screening programmes at intervals according to the specific programme.

Data sources used by for cancer treatment include cancer waiting times data which give month by month figures on activity, referrals and waiting times, as well as management information which can provide a week to week view of activity and the current scale of the waiting list. Hospital Episode Statistics, and the secondary uses service are used alongside specific sources of information such as the Radiotherapy Dataset or the Diagnostic Imaging Dataset. Data are considered by geography, provider trust, tumour pathway and treatment modality to pinpoint areas for further action.

From March, local systems will be expected to carry out local plans formed as part of the Cancer Services Recovery Plan and continue the progress that has already been made.