UK ‘Must Improve’ After Research Reveals Cancer Death Rate Concerns

Delays In Testing Linked To Higher Rates Compared To Other Countries


Specialist medical negligence lawyers have urged the UK to take urgent action to reduce the delays in treatment and testing faced by cancer patients, after research suggested that such issues had led to death rates being higher than in other parts of the world.

According to the analysis by the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership published in the BMJ Open journal, UK cancer patients have a lower chance of survival compared to countries including Australia and Norway.

The Guardian reports that the research revealed delays in GP surgery mean they are less likely than other countries to refer patients either for tests for cancer or to see a specialist.

It was also found that GPs in other countries had double the level of access to CT and MRI scans than those in England, with UK doctors also reporting long waiting times for scan results.

According to legal experts at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in medical law and patients’ rights, the findings highlight that much needs to be done to improve standards and boost patient safety.

Expert Opinion
"The findings of this International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership research raise very clear concerns regarding how the UK appears to be lagging behind other nations in terms of cancer care.

"These issues must be carefully examined by the Government and the NHS, with a view to learning lessons from the strategies of other countries and ultimately seeing what can be adopted to improve standards here.

"As with any serious illness or condition, time is undoubtedly of the essence when it comes to treating cancer. With this in mind, it is clear that the apparent delays being seen are simply unacceptable and action needs to be taken to address it."
Ian Christian, Partner