Nearly 1,000 Northern Care Alliance patients left waiting more than two months to start cancer treatment

New figures reveal that more than half of all cancer patients in Oldham are having to wait more than two months for vital treatments.

New research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has revealed that 913 people were stuck waiting for more than two months before receiving treatment with Northern Care Alliance (NCA), the NHS Trust that covers Oldham. The shocking figures mean that, in 2022, 52% of patients had to wait more than two months for treatment to start.

Howard Sykes

Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE said, “Northern Care Alliance has not hit the target of 85% of patients receiving a first treatment for cancer within 62 days of an urgent GP referral since 2020. These figures are absolutely horrifying.”

Nationally, more than 66,000 patients were forced to wait more than two months for their first treatment last year after a referral.

Councillor Sykes said: “Targets exist to save lives. We need urgent action to get Northern Care Alliance back on track.”

“Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to hire more staff, especially specialist cancer nurses. There needs to be a comprehensive strategy to ensure all those who have been left behind are offered timely cancer diagnosis and treatment.”

Councillor Sykes, who represents Shaw ward, has previously called for a new scrutiny committee to drive improvements across Northern Care Alliance services. The Labour administration has so far refused to commit to this step.

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