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RCS position on performance standards for access to planned treatment, A&E and cancer care

21 Sep 2018

A number of trust chief executives have spoken out in the press today about NHS England's current review of current performance standards for access to planned treatment, A&E and cancer care. 

Commenting on the Royal College of Surgeons' position on waiting time targets, a spokesperson said:

 “We do not support the abolition of performance standards covering access to planned treatment, A&E, and cancer care. They help to maintain good standards of access to care regardless of the postcode a patient may reside in. We must avoid returning to the days when hundreds of thousands of patients waited more than a year for surgery in England.
“However, NHS England’s review is a good opportunity to examine existing standards and determine the right targets to ensure patients can get the care they require when it is of most benefit.
“The RCS would like to see standards which maintain timely access to surgery while allowing greater clinical differentiation to allow those patients most in need to be treated more quickly. Targets must be evidence based and avoid perverse decision-making. They should not have the effect of drawing resources away from other areas of high clinical need.

“In addition, we think this is good opportunity to implement the same method of measurement across all of the UK nations. Improved comparison on performance will help different nations learn from their relative performance.”


Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

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