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Hospitals are failing to meet NICE cancer referral targets

Hospitals are under increasing scrutiny after repeated medical errors appear in the press a lot these days, particularly as some NHS Trust’s appear to be stretched to the limit with the number of patients being admitted this time of year.

A patient has recently complained about delays in her treatment after her GP urgently referred her following a breast lump examination.  She is angry that she did not receive an appointment with the hospital within the 2 week target guidelines for assessing, diagnosing and treating cancer.

According to NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)guidelines, a patient who has a suspicious symptom that may be cancerous should ideally be seen within 14 days of a GP’s urgent suspected cancer referral.  They should be diagnosed and treated within 62 days of the GP’s original referral unless it’s suspected to be an aggressive cancer such testicular cancer, acute leukaemia, or involves a child and then  it should be treated within 31 days.

She claims she received an appointment later than the two week target:

“I saw my GP who referred me under an urgent appointment called a two week wait.

“I still have not heard from …… Hospital at all let alone been given an appointment.

“When I phoned I was told all appointments from December 15 would not be processed as there is no consultant.

“They were unable to tell me when I would be seen or if anything had been done to mitigate this situation.

“I asked to be referred out of the county and was told they are not allowed to do that.

“It makes me think any women with a breast lump right now has no chance of being seen within a timely manner and goes against NICE guidelines and national policy.”

Speed of diagnosis and treatment is often essential in improving chances of survival from cancer.  The NICE targets, whilst not compulsory, are guidelines based on historical medical information to give patients the best chance of surviving potentially life threatening cancers.  We understand that hospitals are stretched to the limit at certain times of the year but everyone has the right to a quick diagnosis and early treatment of cancer which can prevent death or serious health complications.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a delayed or mis-diagnosis of cancer or delayed treatment then contact us to discuss your potential case further.  We have specialist Hospital Medical Negligence solicitors who understand this field of law and can sensitively inform you whether you have been a victim of clinical negligence and whether you have a case against your Hospital.

Cancer negligence specialist solicitors

As with any clinical negligence compensation claim, it is vital to find a solicitor that has expertise in this complex area. Our team works with the country’s leading medical experts in this area of clinical negligence to ensure that we offer the very best legal advice.

If you or a loved one has been unfortunate enough to have experienced  poor medical care from medical staff then contact us now at Thorneycroft Solicitors today for a free no-obligation assessment of your case on 0800 1979 345 or complete our online enquiry form.

Our medical negligence solicitors are dedicated to maximising the compensation for medical negligence available on a no win – no fee basis.