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An article in The Daily Mail last week reports on official NHS statistics highlighting the increasing number of patients being forced to wait more than 2 weeks for referral to a specialist for a cancer diagnosis. An estimated 105,000 people with suspected cancer had to wait more than two weeks, the maximum time set under Government targets, to see a specialist in 2017. This is more than twice as many people than in 2010-2011 (45,000). It is also mentioned in the article that failure to diagnose cancer early is the main reason why cancer survival rates were lower in Britain than other European countries.
The article concludes with a message from an NHS England spokesman who highlights that, “[the NHS] continue[s] to meet the national standard for two-week waits, referring 450,000 more people in under 14 days”.