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Monday, Jul 22, 2024

Radiologists Warn Over Routine Delays in UK Cancer Treatment

Long waits for cancer care are now typical across the UK, with almost half of specialist centers experiencing delays weekly, the Royal College of Radiologists reports. A significant shortfall in radiologists and clinical oncologists is causing treatment delays. The major political parties have made pledges to improve the situation, emphasizing timely cancer care.
Long waits for cancer care are now typical across the UK, with almost half of specialist cancer centres experiencing delays weekly, according to the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR).

A 30% shortfall in radiologists and 15% in clinical oncologists are contributing to severe delays in treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The Conservative Party promises to meet cancer care targets by the end of the next parliament, while Labour plans to double the number of scanners for early detection.

The Liberal Democrats propose a legal guarantee for treatment within 62 days of referral.

The RCR survey, involving 60 specialist centres, noted the near doubling of delay reports.

The shortage of doctors is a critical issue at the heart of patient care delays, says RCR president Dr. Katharine Halliday.

UK's health systems have consistently missed cancer treatment targets.

The proportion of patients in England treated within 62 days of diagnosis was 69% in March, falling short of the 85% target.

Cancer Research UK calls for a long-term strategy to address workforce shortages and improve cancer services.

Patient Rosemary Head's eight-month delay in lung cancer diagnosis exemplifies the personal toll of systemic issues.

All major political parties have proposed steps to alleviate the crisis, emphasizing the importance of timely cancer care.

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