Labour proved right on cancer: 1wk target gone


4:08 pm - October 20th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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In April this year a front-page Sunday Times story kicked off a row about cancer diagnosis times.

The paper reported:

Cards addressed to sufferers by name warn that a Labour guarantee to see a cancer specialist within two weeks would be scrapped by the Tories. Labour claims the Conservatives would also do away with the right to be treated within 18 weeks.

At the time Cameron went ballistic and demanded Labour apologise for putting out ‘scaremongering’ leaflets.

The Sunday Times quoted Andrew Lansley saying:

For Labour’s campaign to deliberately distress or scare sufferers from breast cancer is shameful. Because we are going to increase the NHS budget in real terms and cut bureaucracy and waste, we will have the capacity to ensure that cancer patients are seen sooner than they are at the moment and to meet the quality standards that they expect.

Turns out Labour were right to warn NHS users after all.

As @gregbeales points out: Page 43 of spending review doc – government abandons 1-week wait guarantee for cancer tests.

This is what the report says:

To ensure spending is focused on priorities, some programmes announced by the previous government but not yet implemented will not be taken forward.

This includes free prescriptions for people with long term conditions, the right to one-to-one nursing for cancer patients and the target of a one week wait for cancer diagnostics.

So will the Conservatives apologise now for another u-turn on a key promise just before the election?

Update Paul Waugh confirms:

Yup, looks like it’s been dumped. DoH sources say the one week cancer wait guarantee has been “dropped on account of lack of sufficient clinical evidence to support it”.

“Patients should be seen as soon as it’s necessary, for some that will be sooner than a week,” they say.

Update: Got this slightly mixed up, like others. It seems that the one-week wait was never the subject of controversy in the leaflets. That was the two week guarantee under contention. Thanks to commenters who pointed that out.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. michael clancy

This is just confusion on your part. The Labour PROMISE was for a 2 week wait, was this actually implemented.? AND we’re talking about scrapping a Labour TARGET for a 1 week wait, not an actual time. What the Tories said was they woudl protect and improve existing times.

. The Labour PROMISE was for a 2 week wait, was this actually implemented.?

What, with all these frontline cuts to the NHS? Yeah right.

3. michael clancy

that last comment isn’t even a coherent sentence, please do better!

It’s only incoherent if you put your fingers in your ears and pretend not to listen.

This might help:

Before the election, Prime Minister David Cameron and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley promised a £200 million a year fund for cancer drugs.

Today’s review said the fund will be “up to” £200 million a year but no final decisions have been published.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/health-spending-will-top-inflation-but-nhs-pledges-dropped-2111882.html

and there’s this on my comment above:
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/nhs-slashes-thousands-of-jobs-ndash-despite-pledge-to-protect-it-from-cuts-2109412.html

and

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/10/15/survey-nhs-front-line-services-being-hit-badly/

5. michael clancy

oh i see you’ve moved off that point about waiting times that had you so confused, now you’re on about drug and other NHSbudgets, i take it that means you concede my point

So Labour were right to say that the two-week target was being scrapped because the on-week target is not going to be implemented.

http://libertarianbulldog.blogspot.com/2010/10/no-brain-engagement.html

7. Chaise Guevara

@6

Sounds like Labour were right to warn us on the NHS, but not right to, um, lie about the Tory’s plan to cut the two-week waiting list.

Sunny, you’re right to draw attention to this, but conflating the one-week/two-week thing wasn’t a great move.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  2. Amanda Ramsay

    RT @libcon: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  3. sunny hundal

    Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  4. John West

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  5. Tom King

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  6. MattFinnegan

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  7. Diane

    RT @libcon: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  8. Just Another Gooner

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  9. Tom King

    Labour proved right on cancer guarantee – will Cameron now apoligise? http://bit.ly/9Xcn7a #CSR #sameoldtories #newpolitics?

  10. Owain Gardner

    RT @tomilo: Labour proved right on cancer guarantee – will Cameron now apoligise? http://bit.ly/9Xcn7a #CSR #sameoldtories #newpolitics?

  11. LucaHelvetica

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  12. Andrew Burgess

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  13. Neil Wigglesworth

    RT @tomilo: Labour proved right on cancer guarantee – will Cameron now apoligise? http://bit.ly/9Xcn7a #CSR #sameoldtories #newpolitics?

  14. LL

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  15. Peter Boyle

    RT @tomilo: Labour proved right on cancer guarantee – will Cameron now apoligise? http://bit.ly/9Xcn7a #CSR #sameoldtories #newpolitics?

  16. Brian Moylan

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  17. LM

    RT @tomilo: Labour proved right on cancer guarantee – will Cameron now apoligise? http://bit.ly/9Xcn7a #CSR #sameoldtories #newpolitics?

  18. Jonathan Taylor

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  19. Duncan Hothersall

    RT @libcon: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  20. Karen

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  21. DeludedDonny

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  22. Johann Hari

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  23. Andy Sutherland

    RT @tomilo: Labour proved right on cancer guarantee – will Cameron now apoligise? http://bit.ly/9Xcn7a #CSR #sameoldtories #newpolitics?

  24. Henry Scowcroft

    Hmm RT: @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  25. Robin Fry

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  26. Annie B

    RT @tomilo: Labour proved right on cancer guarantee – will Cameron now apoligise? http://bit.ly/9Xcn7a #CSR #sameoldtories #newpolitics?

  27. Nick Hider

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  28. Tanya

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  29. Pucci Dellanno

    RT @libcon: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  30. Paul Fung

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  31. Steve Collinson

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  32. sean

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  33. Frazer Howard

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  34. Pete Bowler

    Labour proved right on cancer: 1wk target gone | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/nTREcW2 via @libcon

  35. TeresaMary

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  36. Alex 'J' May

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  37. Jade

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  38. john hatfield

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  39. Alix Thornton

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  40. Matt Jeffs

    RT @libcon: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  41. Bri McIntosh

    RT @libcon: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  42. Helen

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  43. Jill Hayward

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  44. Tom Davies

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  45. Yvonne Kay

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  46. Emma O'Sullivan

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  47. a Brunton

    RT @tomilo: Labour proved right on cancer guarantee – will Cameron now apoligise? http://bit.ly/9Xcn7a #CSR #sameoldtories #newpolitics?

  48. Jim Stanbury

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  49. shannonmkennedy

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  50. Paul Crowley

    RT @libcon: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  51. Chris Read

    I remember this well from the GE campaign: Labour proved right on cancer: 1wk target gone | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/a6s7HK

  52. earwicga

    Labour proved right on cancer: 1wk target gone | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/R3tcrvk via @libcon < & free prescriptions for long-term

  53. karen jerwood

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  54. pferron

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  55. pferron

    RT @sunny_hundal Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3 #csr #condems

  56. amonthofMAIL

    Labour proved right on cancer: 1wk target gone | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/kg0oaih via @libcon

  57. Jan de Landtsheer

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour proved right on cancer leaflets after Coalition abandons 1 week diagnosis target http://bit.ly/8YnWF3

  58. Steve

    1 week cancer diagnosis promise gone, after outrage at suggestion during the election. http://t.co/a6TSIpV via @libcon





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