When the camera is on David Cameron will tell you whatever he thinks you want to hear on the NHS. But for all the tough rhetoric and slick presentation, David Cameron would scrap your right to see a cancer specialist within two weeks.
The Conservatives are opposed to all NHS “process targets” – targets which focus on particular parts of the clinical pathway, such as the time spent waiting for treatment.
“We will scrap all of the politically-motivated process targets that stop health professionals doing their jobs properly”
Conservative Party, Draft health manifesto, 4 January 2010, p. 7
"We will abolish Labour’s political targets...
"We will focus on results. One year and five year cancer survival rates at least as good as any in Europe. Not just a two-week referral to a cancer specialist."
Andrew Lansley, speech to Conservative Party Conference, 5 October 2009
David Cameron has said that instead of measuring individual waiting times we should be focusing on long-term outcomes – cancer survival rates.
"Well as I say what, the cancer guarantee we need is can we get our cancer survival rates up to the best levels in Europe? That’s what matters much more than individual waiting times. What really matters is not just you get the first appointment with the cancer specialist but you get, do you get the treatment? Do you get the follow through? Do you get all the help you need to make sure you survive? Now our cancer survival rates are not amongst the best in Europe, they should be. So let’s start measuring that, the outcome, that’s what matters to people listening to this programme. If I or if a relative of mine gets cancer, what are our survival chances?"
David Cameron, LBC, 1 October 2009