The Record claims today:
Targets for cancer treatment are being breached despite a massive reduction in those even being referred because of Covid. In the three months to June, referrals fell by almost a quarter – but there was a worsening record of patients being seen and treated in time.
The targets being breached and worsening record suggestions are at best misleading.
First, on the 62-day standard that 95% of eligible patients will wait a maximum of 62 days from referral to first cancer treatment:
84.1% of patients started treatment within the 62-day standard, compared to 84.7% [down only 0,6%] in the previous quarter, and 82.4%[up 1.9%] for quarter ending June 2019.
Second, on the 31-day standard that 95% of all patients will wait no more than 31 days from decision to treat to first cancer treatment:
97.1% of patients started treatment within the 31-day standard, compared with 96.1% [up 1%] in the previous quarter and 94.7% [up 2.4%] for quarter ending June 2019.
So, one target hit, one missed, but both better than in 2019. Not quite a ‘worsening record?’
As for the ‘tsunami of cancer deaths‘, everything is a ‘tsunami these days. The Scotsman had a ‘tsunami of job losses‘ only two days ago and its own ‘tsunami of cancer deaths‘ on the 24th August. The Telegraph had another ‘tsunami of cancer deaths‘ on 23rd July, while STV had a ‘tsunami of demand‘ on the 8th September. Way back in March, the P&J had a doctor waiting for one, a ‘tsunami!‘
Not pretentious enough for the Record?