My Views

August 30th, 2023
Written by John Grogan


Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Keighley and Ilkley John Grogan has expressed concern at the failure of Airedale Hospital to meet a key cancer target.

In June 2023 only 70% of people started their first treatment within 2 months (or 62 days) of an urgent referral from a GP in June 2023. The national target of 85% dates back to the days of the last Labour Government and is one of those which has been retained by the current administration. Figures are produced monthly for each hospital.

John Grogan said:

‘The statistics for June 2023 are particularly concerning and no doubt recent strikes were a factor. Nevertheless the hospital last met this particular national cancer target in October 2022 and has failed to do so in the great majority of months in recent years. A separate freedom of information request revealed that in 2022 the longest wait for treatment for a cancer patient at Airedale was 266 days from a GP referral. The problem, which is unfortunately common across much of the NHS, appears to lie in resources available for testing and diagnosis. The hospital still has a very good record in getting treatment started once a plan has been agreed, with very hard working medical and auxiliary staff, but delays in getting to that stage are putting lives at risk.

‘It is perhaps instructive that in the last months of Gordon Brown’s premiership 100% of cancer patients at Airedale Hospital were being treated within 2 months of an urgent referral by a GP. By investing more in doctors and nurses and other staff we need to get back to those days. We are all looking forward to the building of a new hospital at Airedale but we have a lot to do to ensure that it will offer prompt first class cancer care to all who need it’