To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how the NHS plans to tackle (a) the current backlog in cancer diagnosis and (b) ensure that any additional referrals for diagnosis are not delayed.
2 June 2021
The National Health Service priorities and operational planning guidance 2021/22 sets out how the NHS aims to tackle the backlog in cancer treatment which includes:
- Increasing people with symptoms coming forward through cancer-specific messages as part of the ‘Help Us Help You’ campaign;
- Rapidly increasing diagnostic capacity, with immediate action plans to increase endoscopy and computed tomography capacity; and
- Focusing on reducing the number of patients waiting over 62-days on cancer pathways, rescheduling diagnostic procedures or treatment for those who have had their care delayed by the pandemic.
Local health systems, drawing on advice and analysis from their Cancer Alliance, will ensure that there is sufficient diagnostic and treatment capacity in place to meet cancer need to ensure that any additional referrals for diagnosis are not delayed.