asked Her Majesty's Government:
With reference to the statement in the Labour Party manifesto that "we will end waiting for cancer surgery", how many people were waiting for cancer surgery at the latest time for which figures are available, and exactly how was that figure determined.
§ Baroness Jay
Information collected centrally on patients currently on a waiting list at hospitals in England is specialty based and does not identify separately patients by their prospective diagnosis. Information on patients actually admitted is available by diagnosis and in 1994–95, the latest year for which data are available for England, 364,000 people with a diagnosis of cancer were admitted for surgical or non-surgical treatment from a waiting list. It is estimated that half of these admissions were within 14 days of a decision to admit to hospital.
Information on patients currently on a waiting list at hospitals in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is collected on the same basis as in England. The latest information on admissions available for Wales is for 1995–96 and shows that during that year 33,000 patients with a diagnosis of cancer were admitted to Welsh hospitals from waiting lists. It is estimated that of these about 60 per cent. were admitted within 19WA 14 days of a decision to admit. The latest information for Northern Ireland is also for 1995–96. There, 15,000 patients with a diagnosis of cancer were admitted from a waiting list during that year. It is estimated that over half of these admissions were within 14 days of a decision to admit. Comparable information for Scotland is not available.