Sustainable delivery of the 62-day cancer standard is challenging for many organisations. Small delays at the early stage of the pathway lead to longer waits and patients who are not seen within the two week standard are much more likely to wait longer than the 62-day standard.
Working with a wide range of providers, supported by analysis of hospital episode statistics (HES) data, we have identified three key elements that contribute to improved waiting times for patients and better performance against the 62-day standard:
- reduced number of pathway steps
- reduced time to first appointment
- reduced overall size of patient tracking list
This guide will help providers focus on key areas for improvement and draw up realistic action plans and objectives with a self-assessment framework.
Using patient-level data from HES and other data sources shows the two most important factors in cancer waiting times are the number of appointments in the pathway and the time to first appointment. These affect not only the length of the pathway but the chance of breaching the 62-day standard.