HC Deb 04 November 2002 vol 392 c137W
Gregory Barker

To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons patients awaiting diagnostic tests such as gastrointestinal endoscopy are excluded from national cancer waiting lists published by the NHS. [75770]

Ms Blears

Information is not collected centrally on waiting times for diagnostic tests. Currently published cancer waiting times data include patients urgently referred by their general practitioner (GP) with suspected cancer to first outpatient appointment. This data shows whether a patient was seen in secondary care within two weeks but does not contain information on whether a patient was referred direct for a diagnostic test or for assessment by a specialist. Data are also published on the target of a maximum one-month wait from urgent referral to first treatment for testicular cancer, children's cancers and acute leukaemia. This data will include time for the diagnostic phase but does not contain data on waiting times for individual diagnostic tests. Data is also published on the maximum one-month wait from diagnosis to first treatment for breast cancer. This target measures the waiting time to treatment after the diagnosis has been made. By 2005 there will be a maximum two-month wait from urgent GP referral to first treatment for all cancers.

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