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New analysis shows the “horrific” extent of Folkestone & Hythe’s cancer wait times

May 3, 2022 5:50 PM

New research from the House of Commons Library, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, has shown huge disparities in cancer care across England revealing a crisis in Folkestone & Hythe.

Adam Rowledge

Rowledge: "Delays to cancer diagnoses and treatments are incredibly distressing for those with cancer and those who fear they may have it.

The headlines from the research have been branded "horrific" by Folkestone & Hythe's Liberal Democrats, they show:

  • This winter, from November 2021 to February 2022 almost 400 patients in East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, waited longer than two weeks to see a consultant after an urgent referral from their GP.
  • Furthermore, 4,551 people waited longer than 28 days to get a cancer diagnosis from a specialist after an urgent referral from their GP.
  • Even more worryingly 22% are waiting two months or more to start cancer treatment after a referral.

Nationally, this winter, from November 2021 to February 2022 almost 195,000 patients waited longer than two weeks to see a consultant after an urgent referral from their GP. The NHS target is for 93% of patients to be seen within this time but across England nearly a quarter of people don't see a consultant for that urgent appointment.

Ahead of the local elections the Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to hire more staff, especially specialist cancer nurses. The party is also calling for a comprehensive strategy to ensure all those who have been left behind are offered timely cancer diagnosis and treatment and that targets be met as soon as possible.

Commenting on cancer waiting times in Folkestone & Hythe, Liberal Democrat Adam Rowledge, said:

"The Government has been driving our local health services into the ground and taking patients for granted for years, Folkestone & Hythe deserves better.

"This Conservative Government has its head in the sand over staff shortages and no real plan to fix it, there must be action to fix this horrific crisis.

"They must get a handle on this crisis so cancer patients get the urgent care they need to give them the best chance of survival and recovery."