A number of operational standards related to access and waiting times have been introduced or amended since May 2010. All the changes were based on recommendations from clinical experts.
As part of our response to the Independent Cancer Taskforce’s report, we have announced our commitment that – by 2020 – 95% of National Health Service patients will be given a definitive cancer diagnosis or the all clear within 28 days of being referred by a general practitioner. This will be underpinned by investment - expected to be £300 million more in diagnostics a year by 2020.
We are also introducing the first waiting times standards specifically for mental health so that, from April 2016:
- 75% of people will be referred to the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme within six weeks, with 95% of people being referred within 18 weeks; and
- 50% of people experiencing a first episode of psychosis will be treated within two weeks.