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Publication of the Northern Ireland Cancer Waiting Times Statistics Release (October - December 2012)

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety today published the Northern Ireland Cancer Waiting Times Statistics Release for October, November and December 2012.
Thursday, 28 March 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 2012.

Key facts and figures for NI Cancer Waiting Times for the months of October, November and December 2012:

Waiting Times for Treatment following an urgent GP referral for Suspect Cancer

· The 2012/13 Ministerial Target relating to waiting times for treatment following an urgent referral for suspect cancer states that ‘from April 2012, 95% of patients urgently referred with a suspect cancer should begin their treatment within 62 days’.

· During October 2012, a total of 305 patients received their first definitive treatment for cancer following an urgent GP referral for suspect cancer. Of this number, 245 (80.3%) commenced treatment within 62 days of the referral being received by a Health and Social Care Trust. This compared with 81.0% (226 out of 279 patients treated within 62 days) in November 2012 and 87.1% (196 out of the total 225 patients treated within 62 days) in December 2012.

Waiting Times for Treatment

  • The 2012/13 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 2012, 872 patients commenced treatment for cancer following a decision to treat being taken. Of this number, 843 (96.7%) commenced treatment within 31 days of the date on which the decision to treat was taken. In November 2012, 758 (98.7%) of the 768 patients that commenced treatment did so within 31 days. In December 2012, 633 (98.4%) of the total 643 patients were treated within 31 days.

Waiting Times for a First Assessment with a Breast Cancer Specialist

  • The 2012/13 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 the month of October 2012, of the 1,042 patients that were first seen by a breast cancer specialist following an urgent referral for suspect breast cancer, 1,041 (99.9%) received their assessment within two weeks of referral. This compares with 100.0% of patients in November 2012 (900) and 99.7% in December 2012 (757 out of 759) who were seen within two weeks of referral.

Notes to editors:

1. All statistical publications relating to waiting times are available online

2. About the data

  • The sources for the data contained in this release are the Cancer Patient Pathway System (CaPPS) and the Departmental Return SDR 2.
  • Figures include all privately funded patients waiting for treatment in Health and Social Care hospitals and those patients who are resident outside Northern Ireland.
  • Data include all returns and amendments received from HSC Trusts up to 15 March 2012.

3. Definition of Waiting Times for Treatment following an urgent referral for Suspect Cancer

  • These data relate to all patients who received a first definitive treatment for cancer (having been given an ICD 10 diagnosis) during the months of October, November and December 2012, following an urgent GP referral for suspect cancer, and routine referrals that have subsequently been reclassified as urgent by a cancer specialist. Data relate to urgent referrals for all cancers with the exception of basal cell carcinoma. Referrals from sources other than a GP, routine referrals from a GP (except for those reclassified as urgent) and patients who have not been given an ICD 10 diagnosis are excluded.
  • The completed waiting time is measured from the date an initial urgent GP referral for suspect cancer is received by the Provider HSC Trust and ends on the date the patient received their first definitive treatment for cancer. Adjustments are made to the completed waiting time in the event of a patient cancelling or self deferring treatment or as a result of suspension for either medical or social reasons.

4. Definition of Waiting Times for Treatment following a Decision to Treat for cancer

  • These data relate to patients who received a first definitive treatment for cancer (having been given an ‘International Classification of Diseases 10’ diagnosis) during the months of October, November and December 2012, irrespective of their source of referral. Data include treatment for all cancers, with the exception of basal cell carcinoma. Patients that have not been given an ICD 10 diagnosis are excluded.
  • The completed waiting time is measured from the date a decision was taken to treat a patient for cancer and ends on the date that the patient received their first definitive treatment for cancer. The decision to treat is the date on which the patient and the clinician agree the planned treatment. Adjustments are made to the completed waiting time in the event of a patient cancelling or self deferring treatment or as a result of suspension for either medical or social reasons.

5. Definition of Waiting Times for a First Assessment with a Breast Cancer Specialist

  • These data relate to urgent referrals (excluding those that have been reclassified as routine by the breast cancer specialist, and including routine referrals that have subsequently been reclassified as urgent by a breast cancer specialist).
  • The completed waiting time is measured from the date an initial breast cancer referral is first received by the Provider HSC Trust, and ends on the date that the patient attended their first outpatient appointment with a breast cancer specialist. Adjustments are made to the completed waiting time in the event of a patient cancelling or failing to attend a first outpatient appointment.

6. This information was collated by Hospital Information Branch, DHSSPS.

Further information is available from:
Hospital Information Branch,
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety,
Annex 2, Castle Buildings,
Stormont, BT4 3SQ

Telephone: 028 9052 2506

E-mail:

Internet:

7. Media queries to DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0074, or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.