The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety today (Thursday 27 March) published the Northern Ireland Cancer Waiting Times Statistics Release for October, November and December 2013.The release gives details of the waiting times for patients accessing cancer services at hospitals in Northern Ireland during the months of October, November and December 2013. Key facts and figures for NI Cancer Waiting Times for the months of October, November and December 2013: Waiting Times for Treatment following an urgent GP referral for Suspect Cancer :
* The 2013/14 Ministerial Target relating to waiting times for treatment following an urgent referral for suspect cancer states that ‘from April 2013, 95% of patients urgently referred with a suspect cancer should begin their treatment within 62 days’.
* During October 2013, a total of 347 patients received their first definitive treatment for cancer following an urgent GP referral for suspect cancer. Of this number, 269 (77.5%) commenced treatment within 62 days of the referral being received by a Health and Social Care Trust. This compared with 85.7% (228 out of 266 patients treated within 62 days) in November 2013 and 81.7% (228 out of 279 patients treated within 62 days) in December 2013.
Waiting Times for Treatment
* The 2013/14 Ministerial indicator of performance relating to waiting times for cancer treatment refers to the percentage of patients receiving their first definitive treatment within 31 days of a cancer diagnosis, and a decision to treat being taken.
* During October 2013, 828 patients commenced treatment for cancer following a decision to treat being taken. Of this number, 807 (97.5%) commenced treatment within 31 days of the date on which the decision to treat was taken. In November 2013, 745 (98.8%) of the 754 patients that commenced treatment did so within 31 days. In December 2013, 685 (98.7%) of the total 694 patients were treated within 31 days.
Waiting Times for a First Assessment with a Breast Cancer Specialist
* The 2013/14 Ministerial indicator of performance for waiting times for a first assessment with a breast cancer specialist refers to the percentage of patients seen within 14 days following an urgent referral for breast cancer.
* During October 2013, 912 of the 1,028 (88.7%) patients that were seen for the first time by a breast cancer specialist following an urgent referral for suspect breast cancer, received their assessment within two weeks of referral. This compares with 72.4% of patients in November 2013 (757 out of 1,046) and 79.8% in December 2013 (667 out of 836) who were seen within two weeks of referral.
All statistical publications relating to waiting times are available on line at: