NHS summer crisis ‘worst on record’ as health service fails to meet cancer referral target

Full story in The Independent, 13 September 2018

The NHS has had its worst summer crisis on record, experts have warned, as the impact of thousands of cancelled non-urgent appointments in December and January has left hospitals with unprecedented waiting lists and little spare capacity to clear them before another winter rolls around.

August performance figures released by the NHS show that an unprecedented heatwave has meant no respite for emergency departments and numbers of patients waiting more than 12 hours in A&E are at a record high.

Health experts also expressed serious concern after official figures showed that only 78.2 per cent of cancer patients given an urgent referral by their GP started treatment within 62 days in July. The target is 85 per cent.