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Cancer: Waiting Lists

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 27178, tabled on 5 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS 2021-22 priorities and operational planning guidance, published on 25 March 2021, whether the NHS is on schedule to tackle the backlog of cancer diagnosis, care and treatment by the end of March 2022.

Answered on

19 July 2021

This answer is a correction from the original answer.

NHS England and Improvement are committed to clearing the cancer backlog of patients waiting over 62 days from referral to first treatment by March 2022. Progress has been made, with 2.68 million urgent referrals and over 664,000 people treated for cancer between March 2020 and May 2021. In May 2021 general practitioner urgent referrals for suspected cancer were 14% higher than the May 2019 baseline. Cancer referrals have reached over 10,500 referrals per day in April and nearly 11,000 in May.

Original answer

NHS England and Improvement are committed to clearing the cancer backlog of patients waiting over 62 days from referral to first treatment by March 2022. Progress has been made, with 2.68 million urgent referrals and over 664,000 people treated for cancer between March 2020 and May 2021. In May 2021 general practitioner urgent referrals for suspected cancer were 8.3% higher than the May 2019 baseline. Cancer referrals have reached over 10,500 referrals per day in April and nearly 11,000 in May.