Under new NHS targets, patients will receive their cancer test results in less than a month.

NEW NHS targets mean that patients will receive a diagnosis of cancer or the all clear within one month after being sent for tests.

However, charities have criticized the guidelines as not going far enough.

Patients are to get a cancer diagnosis or the all-clear within a month of being sent for tests


Within one month of being sent for testing, patients are expected to receive either a diagnosis or the all-clear.Credit: Getty

Worried Brits can expect to see a specialist in hospital within two weeks after receiving an urgent referral from their family doctor.

They still have time to wait and find out if they have the disease.

New plan requires that 75% of patients receive a clear answer about their cancer status within 28-days.

Charities said the updated standard – known as the Faster Diagnosis Standard – should help catch more cases early.

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But it’s important to mention that the original proposal was changed in 2015. The requirement that 95% of patients be notified within a month is no longer required.

Michelle Mitchell, boss at Cancer Research UK, said: “The new Faster Diagnosis Standard is a more meaningful target than the current two-week wait that will hopefully improve early diagnosis.

“If all trusts met the 75 per cent target, it would be an improvement to where we are now.

“However, in the long-term to improve cancer survival, we’d like to see a 95 per cent target originally proposed in the 2015 cancer strategy in Sajid Javid’s upcoming 10 year plan for cancer.

“We recognise the target was set lower because of a shortage of cancer specialists, critical to diagnosing cancer across the NHS.”

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, added: “We’re deeply concerned that NHS England has significantly lowered its ambition for rapid diagnosis by setting the target…at 75 per cent.

“We fear that for breast cancer, this new target could fail in its aim to ensure those referred are seen and diagnosed sooner.”

Under the proposals, patients who receive a cancer diagnosis will start treatment within nine weeks from being referred – similar to the current target of two months.

The NHS stated that the latest plan would allow for earlier diagnosis and save more lives.

According to health bosses, it was the right moment to modernize standards.

Professor Peter Johnson, national clinical director for cancer for NHS England, said: “We know that people having tests for possible cancer want to know the results quickly, and updating the standards to reflect this will help us to make sure we are able to deliver the best possible care.

“We are encouraging colleagues in NHS cancer services to share their views on the consultation to ensure we have standards that are better for people with cancer.”

Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, said: “These proposals will help us speed up diagnosis times and treatment, and save more lives.”

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