In April alone nearly 20,000 people missed the 14-day target to meet with an oncologist
Record numbers of cancer patients are waiting longer than they should to see a specialist because NHS services cannot cope with the rise in people suspected of having the disease.
In April 19,963 people in England had to wait more than the 14-day maximum to have their first appointment with a cancer specialist – by far the largest number since records began.
NHS hospitals are supposed to ensure that 93% of all those referred by their GP for suspected cancer see an oncologist within a fortnight. But April was also the first time since the target was introduced in October 2009 that fewer than 90% did so. Performance was just 89.9% – the worst ever.