28/08/2008

NI Cancer Treatment Figures Look Positive

All NI breast cancer patients needing an urgent consultation with a specialist were seen within two weeks of referral by their GP.

New figures from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) published today show that the March 2008 'Northern Ireland Cancer Waiting Times Statistics' relate that waiting time targets had been met that month.

Key facts and figures show that the achievement of the '2007/2008 Priorities for Action Target' relating to waiting times for a first assessment with a breast cancer specialist had been met.

The targets sought that "all urgent GP referrals for suspected breast cancer must wait no longer than 14 days for a first appointment with a breast cancer specialist".

During March, 447 patients were first seen by a breast cancer specialist following an urgent GP referral for suspected breast cancer.

Of this number, all patients were seen within 14 days of the date on which the referral was received by the Health and Social Care Trust.
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This followed another decision relating to waiting times requiring that "for all patients that received their first definitive treatment for cancer in March 2008, at least 98% will have waited no longer than 31 days from the date on which the decision to treat was taken to the date of first definitive treatment".

As a result, a total of 513 (98.1%) commenced treatment within 31 days of the date on which the decision to treat was taken.

Achievement of the 2007/2008 Priorities for Action Target relating to waiting times for treatment following an urgent GP referral for suspect cancer requires that "for all patients that received their first definitive treatment for cancer in March 2008 following an urgent referral by a GP for suspected cancer, at least 75% will have waited no longer than 62 days from the date of their initial GP referral to the first definitive treatment".

Some 146 patients commenced treatment for cancer following an urgent referral from a GP for suspected cancer.

Of this number, 131 (89.7%) commenced treatment within 62 days of the referral being received by a Health and Social Care Trust.

(BMcC)

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