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Are we achieving the current waiting time targets in lung cancer treatment? Result of a prospective study from a large United kingdom teaching hospital

Are we achieving the current waiting time targets in lung cancer treatment? Result of a prospective study from a large United kingdom teaching hospital

Journal of Thoracic Oncology 2(7): 590-592

Recent United Kingdom National Cancer Plan guidelines have specified a number of waiting time targets to prevent delays in the treatment of lung cancer. This study was performed to compare our waiting times with national recommendations. All newly diagnosed cases of lung cancer presenting to our institution were entered into a prospective tracking study by a dedicated audit officer. From September 2003 to December 2005, a total of 342 patients were entered into the study. Of these, 193 (56%) were referred by general practitioners; the remaining 114 (46%) were internal referrals. The Cancer Plan waiting time targets are mainly applicable to general practitioners referrals, which formed the study group. All the patients were seen in chest outpatient clinics within the recommended 2-week period. However, there was a delay in starting all forms of treatment. The median waiting time to any form of treatment was 60 days (recommendation, 62 days for all patients). From specialist referrals, the median waiting times for radiotherapy, surgery, and chemotherapy were 43, 25, and 16.5 days compared with recommended maximums of 28, 28, and 7 days, respectively. These data demonstrate that although patients receive outpatient consultation in the recommended time period, the National Cancer Plan treatment target of 62 days for patients referred by general practitioners is not being achieved. A concerted effort by all clinicians is required to meet the prescribed target times.

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Accession: 051631402

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PMID: 17607113

DOI: 10.1097/jto.0b013e318070ccf0

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