Radiotherapy: Standards

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered am ar 20 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Non-affiliated

To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made towards ensuring that people with cancer who require radiotherapy treatment can start treatment within their target of 31 days.

Photo of Lord Markham Lord Markham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are seeing continued high levels of urgent cancer referrals, with over 12,000 urgent referrals seen for suspected cancer per working day in March 2024, compared to approximately 9,000 in March 2019. In March 2023, 89.7% of patients received a first or subsequent radiotherapy treatment within 31 days of a decision to treat, which is 0.6% higher than last year. From March 2023/24, 127,336 people received a first or subsequent radiotherapy treatment, which is 1,359 more than the previous year.

The Government continues to work with NHS England on implementing the Delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care, and plans to spend more than £8 billion from 2022/23 to 2024/25 to help drive up and protect elective activity, including cancer diagnosis and treatment activity.

We are building our cancer workforce. In January 2024 there were over 35,200 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff in the cancer workforce, an increase of over 13,300, or 60.7% since January 2010. This includes over 8,100 FTE consultants in January 2024, an increase of over 3,300, or 69.6% since January 2010.

Since 2016, the Department has invested £162 million into cutting-edge radiotherapy equipment to replace or upgrade more than 100 radiotherapy treatment machines, so we can deliver the best possible outcomes for patients. From April 2022, the responsibility for investing in new radiotherapy machines sits with local systems.

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