Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the speed with which (a) GPs in the UK and (b) their equivalents in other countries refer patients who might have cancer; and what steps he is taking to improve the speed of cancer referrals.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

No such assessment has been made. ‎ In December 2017, the latest month for which figures are available, 94.9% of people were seen by a specialist within two weeks of an urgent general practitioner referral for suspected cancer.

Improving early diagnosis of cancer is a priority for this Government. We have committed to delivering the recommendations in the Independent Cancer Taskforce report, ‘Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes: A strategy for England 2015-2020’, including the new 28 day faster diagnosis standard. NHS England has also confirmed £200 million of transformation funding over the next two years, this includes encouraging local areas to find new and innovative ways to diagnose cancer earlier.

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