7 February 2022

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“It’s highly alarming that increasing numbers of women with potential breast cancer symptoms are waiting over two weeks to be seen by a specialist. We know that these waits cause many women unimaginable distress and anxiety.

“Whilst we know NHS staff are working tirelessly, these delays are a further indication of the immense ongoing pressures the NHS faces, including across the breast cancer workforce which was already overstretched and chronically under-resourced prior to the pandemic. We know that these issues are being exacerbated by an increased number of referrals, as more women continue to come forward following the dramatic decline in referrals in the early months of the pandemic.

“Following the Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid’s intention to develop a new 10-year cancer plan, the Government must urgently set out how it will address the influx in demand for breast cancer services and put an end to agonising delays for women. Ensuring that women with breast cancer get a prompt diagnosis and start treatment as quickly as possible gives them the best chance of survival.

“Anyone seeking information and support can speak to our expert nurses by calling our free Helpline on 0808 800 6000.”