Statement on Northern Ireland Cancer Waiting Times Statistics

Date published: 28 March 2019

The latest statistics highlight a welcome improvement in meeting the 14 day target for suspected breast cancer

Cancer Waiting Times image

Compliance with the target increased from 80.8% in December 2017 to 99.8% in December 2018.

When £30m was allocated to address waiting times in 2018/19, it was made clear patients with the highest clinical need, including those with suspected or confirmed cancer, would be a priority.

Whilst this non-recurrent investment has made a real difference the overall cancer waiting times statistics clearly show that cancer services remain under pressure.

Sustained investment alongside a fundamental transformation in the way services are delivered is required.

On Monday, the Department launched a public consultation on proposed changes to breast assessment services. A rapid review of breast surgery is also being initiated and will report by the end of the year. Our goal is to ensure we provide high quality, safe, sustainable, accessible and timely care into the future.

We have also confirmed that we will be commissioning a new cancer strategy for Northern Ireland to identity new ways of working to secure further advances in care.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Northern Ireland Cancer Waiting Times Statistics are available to view on the department's website.
  2. For media queries please contact the Department of Health Press Office team on 028 9052 0575 or email For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt

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