Sharp decline in percentage of cancer patients seen within 62 days of GP referral

There has been a significant decline in the number of patients commencing a first treatment for suspected cancer in the Western Trust following an urgent referral from a GP, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health.
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The percentage of patients receiving a first treatment within 62 days declined over the quarter from 57.1 per cent in July to 33.5 per cent in September.

The Department of Health published its Cancer Waiting Times Statistics for the quarter ending September 2022 on Thursday.

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The figures give details of the waiting times for patients accessing cancer services at hospitals during July, August and September 2022.


The data show that in the Western Trust in July, 92 patients in total commenced a first treatment following an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer; 52.5 within 62 days (57.1 per cent).

In August, 93.5 patients commenced treatment: 46 within 62 days (49.2 per cent).

But by September the percentage had declined: 95.5 patients in total were treated; 32 within 62 days (33.5 per cent).

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While there was a decline in the percentage of patients being treated within the 62 day target following a GP referral, the Western Trust was one of the best performing health authorities when it came to the percentage of patients who commenced their first treatment for cancer within 31 days following a decision to treat.

In July 157 of 158 patients (99.4 per cent) received a first definitive treatment within 31 days; in August 152 of 154 patients (98.7%) were treated; and in September 148 of 149 (99.3 per cent) were treated.