Some 7,000 patients queued more than six weeks for checks in December to diagnose cancer and other killer diseases — an increase of 25 per cent.
And 1,000, including 600 cancer sufferers, waited at least three months — five times as many as in 2009. Labour blamed cuts and warned many ailing patients were losing “precious time” by delays in crucial CT scans, ultrasounds and endoscopies.
Shadow health minister Andrew Gwynne rapped:
“David Cameron promised to protect the NHS but he’s leaving it over-stretched and under-staffed.
“People should not be waiting months on end to find out if they have a life-threatening illness.”
The Coalition axed most of Labour’s waiting list targets. The figures cover 15 checks. But hospitals say they are doing record numbers — 340,000 more in the last three months of 2012 than in 2011. The average wait is 2.4 weeks.
The Department of Health said:
“Trusts with high numbers of patients waiting six weeks or longer need to take action.”
This article appeared in the Sun on Sunday, 10th February 2013