Cllr Denise Mullen: Missed Cancer Waiting Time Targets Raises Grave Concerns
Aontú Deputy Leader & Candidate for Fermanagh South Tyrone, Cllr Denise Mullen, has expressed grave concern over crucial cancer waiting times in the North being missed and the impact this will have on cancer outcomes.
Cllr Mullen: “Early and consistent treatment is the silver bullet to beating cancer. Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw unprecedented disruption, and suspension, of cancer screening and treatment services. This has cost lives and led to an increase in adverse cancer outcomes. In January of this year, it was announced that in July, August and September all cancer waiting time targets were missed out on – and missed out on badly. Months on, and sadly the picture is not much better.”
“The crucial target that all urgent breast cancer referrals should be seen within 14 days. In December 2021, only 43% of urgent referrals were seen by a specialist within 14 days, 38% in October 2021, and nearly 50% in October. The second crucial target missed was that 95% of patients should begin treatment within 62 days after an urgent referral from a GP. In December 2021, only 43% began treatment within 62 days following an urgent GP referral, with that figure being 41% in November and 45% in October. All these missed targets exact a human cost, and there needs to an urgent review of why targets are being so badly missed – consistently.”