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Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 8 May 2007, Official Report, columns 165-66W, on radiotherapy, what the mean length of time between (a) ready to start date and start date and (b) decision to treat date and start date was in the most recent period for which figures are available, broken down by patient priority classification (i) E, (ii) U, (iii) R and (iv) D. (137372)

The radiotherapy dataset project is not yet complete. Mandating the collection of the dataset is currently being sought through the Review of Central Returns Committee, and if approved, the radiotherapy dataset should become a full national health service operational standard in 2008. It will then be possible to derive radiotherapy waiting times analysis from the dataset.

An audit of waiting times in radiotherapy was recently carried out by the Royal College of Radiologists, and was published in Clinical Oncology. The paper is available at:

A copy has been placed in the Library.