David Ruffley MP: new shock cancer rates for Suffolk

Wednesday, 4 January, 2012

David Ruffley MP is taking action to tackle cancer diagnosis and survival rates across his constituency.

David Ruffley MP said: 'Waiting times are always a contentious issue and I am deeply concerned by the fact that the number of patients referred to a specialist within the target two weeks after being diagnosed with a suspected cancer is below the national average. I have discovered that 94.9% of patients referred by Suffolk PCT are seen within two weeks whereas the English average is 95.4%. Each year 3,149 people are diagnosed with cancer- which means over 160 people with cancer have to wait beyond the crucial two week mark to see a specialist. I am shocked that the East of England Strategic Health Authority is lagging behind in such a critical service. I will be writing to the Commissioning Director of NHS East of England, Professor Robert Harris to find out what steps are being taken to improve waiting times.

Moreover, the average one year cancer survival rate for Suffolk PCT is 69% which is well above the English average of 66.5%. However, there is room for improvement when one considers that more than three in ten patients will not survive past one year of their diagnosis. I am, therefore, writing to Andrew Lansley MP, Minister for Health to ask him what improvements he is demanding for improving diagnosis of cancers early.