Waiting Times for Cancer Treatment and Care

I share your urgency that we reduce the backlog of cancer care that built up during the pandemic.  During the pandemic, the country’s endeavour was used to tackle the virus and the Government is committed to applying this same spirit to tackling cancer. 

To help reduce waiting times for cancer care, the Government is investing £8 billion by 2025 to help deliver nine million checks, scans, and operations by 2025, and expand the number of surgical hubs across the country.  As part of the 2021 Spending Review, £2.3 billion was committed to expand Community Diagnostic Centres, which will offer rapid access to clinical tests and life-saving checks closer to home. These centres have already delivered over 3.8 million additional checks and tests and are playing an important role in helping to reduce waiting times. 

The implementation of the Faster Diagnosis Standard has been instrumental in reducing waiting times, setting a clear, measurable standard for health services, and ensuring a quicker transition to the treatment phase for patients. 

Tackling major conditions that cause ill-health - including cancer - provides an opportunity to improve the lives of millions of people. That is why I welcome that a Major Conditions Strategy will be published to outline how outcomes in six major condition areas will be improved, including cancer. 

This strategy will allow for a renewed focus on innovative treatments and diagnosing cancer faster to improve outcomes, boosting the cancer workforce, and preventing more cancers from occurring.