Cancer waiting times after urgent referral

We explore rates of urgent referral for patients with suspected cancer.

Indicator

Last updated: 10/12/2015

Access and waiting times
Hospital care

The NHS Cancer Plan introduced in 2000 stated that there should be a maximum two-week wait for a first outpatient appointment for patients referred urgently by a GP with suspected cancer. This indicator looks at the percentage of people who were seen within two weeks of being referred.


How have waiting times after an urgent referral changed? 15/07/2017

Chart QualityWatch

Read more

The percentage of people being seen within two weeks remained largely consistent, between 95% and 96% from Q3 2009/10 onwards. However, after Q4 2011/12, it decreased, reaching an all-time low of 93.5% in Q1 2014/15. It has since increased again to 94.7% in Q4 2016/17.


How have waiting times after an urgent referral changed by cancer type? 15/07/2017

Chart QualityWatch

Read more

Here we compare data from 2014/15 Q1, 2015/16 Q1 and 2016/17 Q1. In 2016/17 Q1, the proportion of people having an outpatient appointment within two weeks varied slightly by cancer type, but remained above 92% for almost all cancer types. The highest rates in 2016/17 were seen for leukaemia and testicular cancer.

Please note that some of these cancers are very rare and changes in a small number of cases can have a large effect on the proportions.


How have waiting times after an urgent referral changed for suspected breast cancer? 15/07/2017

Chart QualityWatch

Read more

We saw in the previous chart that the proportion of people seen within 2 weeks of an urgent referral for breast cancer has increased between 2014/15 Q1 and 2016/17 Q1. Looking at the longer term trend we can see that between Q1 2012/13 and Q4 2016/17 the proportion has declined from 97.2% to 94.9%.


Comments