Government must prioritise support for more deprived areas

18 February 2024

Responding to Liberal Democrats' analysis of figures showing that fewer than one in four cancer patients were treated within the 62-day target in some areas of England last year, Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive at NHS Providers said:

"Cancer is a priority for trust leaders, who know that every second counts when patients are waiting for treatment.

"Progress is being made towards some national targets, including that 75% of patients either receive a cancer diagnosis or have it ruled out within 28 days of referral.

"But trusts' hard work to keep pace with rising demand is being significantly hampered by a capacity crunch of staff, beds and equipment including digital and IT infrastructure, which are vital to screening, prevention and early intervention.

"These issues must be addressed nationally, and without delay, so that trusts have the tools they need to deliver the high-quality care that patients deserve.

"As cancer rates are higher in more deprived areas, it's vital that support is prioritised in the right places, and that the government tackle the root causes of health inequalities and address the wider determinants of health."