Fri, 27 Jan 2023

The Department of Health today published the Northern Ireland Cancer Waiting Times Statistics Release for the quarter ending September 2022.

The release gives details of the waiting times for patients accessing cancer services at hospitals during July, August and September 2022.

Key facts and figures are listed below:

Waiting times for first definitive treatment following a decision to treat (31 day target)

  • During the quarter ending September 2022, 2,690 patients commenced their first treatment for cancer following a decision to treat being taken. Of these, 88.2% (2,373) started treatment within 31 days, compared with 86.2% (2,293 of 2,660 patients) in the quarter ending June 2022 and 90.0% (2,252 of the 2,501 patients) in the quarter ending September 2021.

Waiting times for first treatment following an urgent GP referral for suspect cancer (62 day target)

  • During the quarter ending September 2022, 1,333 patients commenced their first treatment for cancer following an urgent referral for suspect cancer. Of these, 39.5% (527 patients) started treatment within 62 days, compared with 37.7% (486 of 1,289 patients) in the quarter ending June 2022 and 46.1% (532 of 1,154 patients) in the quarter ending September 2021.

Patients first seen following an urgent referral for suspect breast cancer (14 day target)

  • During the quarter ending September 2022, 3,738 patients were seen by a breast cancer specialist for a first assessment following an urgent referral for suspect breast cancer. Of these, 63.2% (2,364) were seen within 14 days, compared with 52.0% (2,008 of 3,863 patients) in the quarter ending June 2022 and 74.5% (2,553 of 3,425 patients) in the quarter ending September 2021.

Referrals for suspect breast cancer

  • During the quarter ending September 2022, 5,854 new referrals for suspect breast cancer were received; this compares to 5,938 in the quarter ending June 2022 and 6,158 in the quarter ending September 2021. Of the new referrals for suspect breast cancer in the quarter ending September 2022, 3,963 (67.7%) were classified as urgent. Referrals for suspect breast cancer can be for advice, assessment or both.

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