The waiting times for patients with brain cancer are not currently meeting NHS targets, the latest figures show. The national targets stipulate that 93% of patients who are referred for treatment with a suspected brain tumour should be seen within two weeks. However, the latest NHS data shows that the figure is 92.17%.
The overall target for cancer patients was even worse, with 89.07% of patients being seen within two weeks of referral. The Guardian reports that this has led to a 39% rise in people self-funding treatments, compared to pre-pandemic years.
The Brain Tumour Charity interim CEO Graham Norton commented: “It’s really concerning to see that, despite the incredible work of so many NHS staff, the target for those referred with suspected brain cancer to be seen within two weeks has been missed for five out of the last six months, as the pressures on the NHS continue.”
He added: “It is so important that people with worrying symptoms who are referred with a suspected brain tumour are seen within the two-week timeframe, so that they can either have a brain tumour ruled out or begin treatment and get the support they need as quickly as possible.”
“We know that any delays in this process can be distressing, at what will be an already worrying time. That’s why we’re calling for the Government’s new 10-year Cancer Plan to ensure sufficient planning and investment to grow the NHS cancer workforce and help increase capacity of these services to meet the growing demand.”
When a suspected brain tumour patient visits a specialist, they will undergo a neurological examination, which tests the vision, hearing, alertness, coordination, and reflexes. They may then be referred for a diagnostic scan which can produce a 3D image of the brain.
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