Figures show cancer patients at the York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are not being seen quickly enough.

A trust spokesperson apologised to patients and said “well documented national and system pressures” have impacted on patient care.

The NHS states 85 per cent of cancer patients urgently referred by a GP should start treatment within 62 days.

But NHS England data shows just 68 per cent of patients urgently referred by the NHS who received cancer treatment at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in March began treatment within two months of their referral.

York Press: York Hospital which is run by the trustYork Hospital which is run by the trust (Image: Newsquest)

That was up from 65 per cent in February, but down from 70 per cent in March 2023 last year.

A York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson told The Press: “There are well documented national and system pressures that have impacted on patient care, particularly waiting times for planned operations, procedures, diagnostic tests, and appointments. 

“We recognise that this means some patients are spending a longer time on waiting lists and we are sorry for the inconvenience and distress that this causes for them.

“We are working hard to reduce our waiting lists and we have a detailed recovery plan and supporting workstreams in place to help us achieve national targets to deliver timely, effective and personalised cancer care.”

Across the country a different cancer target was met for the second month in a row.

Some 77.3 per cent of patients in England urgently referred for suspected cancer in March were diagnosed or had cancer ruled out within 28 days.

This is down from 78.1 per cent the previous month, but is the second time in a row the target of 75 per cent has been exceeded.

'Long' road ahead for recovering NHS performance, says think tank analyst

The King's Fund think tank said there were "green shoots" for cancer care across England.

But chief analyst Siva Anandaciva warned: "The road ahead to make further progress in recovering performance in other areas of the NHS, including reducing lengthy waiting times for planned care and A&E, will be long."

Separate figures show 46,042 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at the end of March – down from 47,064 in February, and 49,714 in March 2023.

Of those, 1,947 (four per cent) had been waiting for longer than a year.

The median waiting time from referral at an NHS Trust to treatment at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was 18 weeks at the end of March – the same as in February.

Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins said NHS staff are “working tirelessly” to cut the waiting list, adding that the data shows the “biggest six-month reduction in over 10 years outside of the pandemic”.

"This is a significant achievement in the context of record pressures and strikes, with NHS analysis showing the list could have fallen by an extra 430,000 since December 2022 without industrial action.

"We’ve also delivered on our target of ensuring over 75 per cent of patients tested for cancer receive a diagnosis or all clear within 28 days of referral – giving patients the all-clear or a diagnosis sooner."