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Cancer Services

Volume 405: debated on Friday 16 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the maximum waiting time is for (a) radiotherapy and (b) chemotherapy for cancer patients in Greater Manchester; and what the corresponding figures were in each of the last two years. [113919]

The Department of Health does not collect data on waiting times for chemotherapy or radiotherapy separately from other forms of cancer treatment. The NHS Cancer Plan sets out the Department's strategy to reduce waiting times for cancer patients. The ultimate goal, planned to be achieved by 2008, is that no one should wait longer than one month from an urgent referral for suspected cancer to the beginning of treatment, except for a good clinical reason or through patient choice.In order to tackle cancer waiting times, the Department is making unprecedented investment in new radiotherapy facilities, streamlining care processes through the cancer services collaborative and working to best utilise the current workforce and to increase the number of staff in post and in training.