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Recovery and operational performance form a key part of post-COVID NHS planning.

Operational performance measures the length of patient pathways and provides data and evidence on where delays are being experienced.

Timely diagnostics and treatment are proven to improve outcomes for patients - our overarching ambition as a Cancer Alliance.

Our current priorities

Our current priorities linked to the delivery of the NHS Long-Term Plan is to ensure cancer services are fully recovered following the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically to:

  • address the reduction in the number of people who should have started treatment during the pandemic
  • use recovery as a springboard to renew our drive to improve operational performance against the Cancer Waiting Times standards; and
  • continue to drive delivery of the Long-Term Plan ambitions for cancer

Recovery performance

To help us achieve our recovery objectives, we have set the following key principles across many of our programmes:

  • to ensure there is sufficient diagnostic and treatment capacity in place to meet the needs of cancer to reduce the number of patients waiting longer than 62 days to pre-COVID levels
  • to meet the increased level of referrals and treatment required to address the shortfall in number of first treatments by March 2023

Operational performance

There are several operational standards that apply to cancer pathways to support faster diagnosis and treatment of patients to improve outcomes.

The national cancer waiting times standards measure the NHS performance in delivering the NHS Constitution Standards and several other metrics. These are considered as indicators of quality of cancer diagnosis, treatment and care delivered by NHS organisations.

Improvement in performance against the NHS Operational Standards is central to all the work of the Cancer Alliance.

We use these metrics and intelligence that support them to design our programme of work to ensure that patients in Lancashire and South Cumbria are diagnosed and treated in as short a timeframe as possible.

For further details about specific targets see the Cancer Wait Time Guide here.


The programme lead for head of performance is Lee Threlfall. 

For more information, please contact lee.threlfall@nhs.net

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