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 ?
It was no great surprise then that T inrah Lad had broken the 700-metre track record, stopping the clock at 42.
Jack Spark, the Arc fourth, created shock-waves of excitement when stopping the clock at an astonishing 39.
The youngster made a very slow start, but flew down the back-straight before stopping the clock in 28.
SLINKY was quickest of the Paul Young team trialling at Peterborough yesterday in preparation for next week's Wafcol Puppy Derby at the track, stopping the clock at 26.
To add to the mystery, when Tiznow decided he was ready to work, he powerhoused through a brilliant seven-eighths mile, stopping the clocks in 1:23.