Thirty-One-Day Target

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Thirty-One-Day Target

A term of art used in the context of the UK’s cancer targets, created in the wake of the Calman Hine report. Pre-2009, once the decision to treat a cancer patient was made, the first definitive treatment (i.e., treatment with a curative or therapeutic intent) was to be delivered within 31 calendar days. Legitimate adjustments to the overall pathway were allowed for reasons such as patient non-attendance (did not attend—DNA), patient cancellation, patient deferral of admission, medical suspensions and social suspensions. The 31-day standard only applied to a diagnosis of a new primary cancer, and didn’t apply to recurrent or relapsed cancer. Post-2009, the 31-day standard applies to all cancers, irrespective of whether it was a newly diagnosed cancer or recurrent/relapsed cancer. The cancer care team is no longer allowed to adjust for patient DNA, patient cancellation or medical suspension. Pauses (“stopping the clock”) are only allowed for patients being treated electively (i.e., as an inpatient or day case).
References in periodicals archive ?
The 31-day target was also an improvement on the previous month, with 96.
Two health boards failed to meet the 31-day target for beginning treatment after cancer has been diagnosed.
And that the 31-day target for referrals to specialists of patients whose cases are not regarded as urgent has been met consistently e no room for complacency, as Wales, and in fact the UK as a whole, lags behind some other European countries in survival rates for the more common cancers.
However some people disclose that they would like the time to discuss with their loved ones and the 31-day target allows for them to do that "Screening has improved as has people's awareness of cancer.
Prof Richards said tougher targets were now needed, suggesting the 31-day target could cover all treatments, not just the first treatment patients receive.
The NHS has consistently met the 31-day target for urgent treatment for patients referred to hospital for reasons other than suspected cancer.
Twelve out of 15 NHS boards met the 31-day target - with only Grampian, Highland and Greater Glasgow and Clyde falling below standard.
A Welsh Government spokesman said: "Once again we have achieved the 31-day target across Wales, which shows important sustained progress in the crucial area of cancer treatment.
And while the report tells us we have consistently achieved the 31-day target since July 2013, we aim to build on recent improvements against the 62-day target for those newly diagnosed with cancer.
All local health boards met the 31-day target, however just two of the six health boards - Cardiff and Vale UHB and Aneurin Bevan - met the 62-day target.
The statistics, published yesterday, show that, by the end of December, 99% of patients who were not referred as urgent cases but who were subsequently diagnosed with cancer started their treatment within the 31-day target from diagnosis.