stopping the clock


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stopping the clock

A UK term of art used in the context of NHS targets for timely diagnosis and treatment of certain conditions, especially invasive cancer. The clock starts on the day of the forward (“urgent”) referral from the patient’s GP for a diagnostic workup for a possible invasive cancer and stops on the day of the first definitive therapy which, according to the NHS cancer targets, should be no more than 62 days (two months).

The only mechanism for stopping the clock is related to the patient him- or herself, who may be on holiday or who may decide to forego treatment for various reasons, including diagnosis of an advanced cancer which is unlikely to respond to therapy.
References in periodicals archive ?
Elsewhere in Scottish football stopping the clock wouldbe a mix of the predictable and the catastrophic.
Hoy, fresh from his heroics in Sydney, finished eighth in the qualifying time trial, stopping the clock at 10.454 seconds.
Stopping the clock at 28.37sec, Cian Jamie led home Typical Toast by over eight lengths.
Pinging out, he was soon clear (4.74sec sectional) of the slowlyaway Razldazl Lord, running the track middle overall, though moving wide off the final turn, before stopping the clock at 28.20sec.