Haringey cancer sufferers face longest drug decision waits

News that Haringey cancer sufferers are waiting up to three months for appeals for medication has led to renewed demands for action by local Liberal Democrats. The revelation, unearthed in a recent survey by Macmillan Cancer Support, puts Haringey in the bottom four of 152Trustsin England, with patients having to wait up to three months when appealing for the right to drugs that either haven’t been assessed by NICE, or deemed too expensive. Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr Richard Wilson, health spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, will raise the issue in an urgent meeting already scheduled to discuss plans to deal with recentpoorTrust performance.

Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, comments:

“I’m deeply concerned that cancer sufferers in Haringey have one of the country’s longest waits when appealing for the right to life saving drugs. Three months is simply not acceptable when we are talking about decisions that mean the difference between life and death.

“I’ve already got an urgent meeting set up to discuss an action plan for improvements to Trust performance, and now this is going at the top of the agenda. It’s simply not ok that people risk dying because of this slow bureaucratic appeals process”.

Richard Wilson, health spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats adds :

“I can’t imagine how distressing it is to be told the NHS won’t give you a cancer drug. But it must be even more stressful to then have to wait for months for your appeal, not knowing if the decision will be reversed or not. Cancer patients deserve to be treated much better by Haringey Primary Care Trust.”