"Local cancer patients' lives at risk" Labour MP Bill Esterson warns as Tories' NHS cuts force Sefton Central patients to wait longer for treatment

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Hundreds of cancer patients in Sefton Central are being put at risk as Tory-led NHS cuts force them to wait too long for treatment.

New figures released by health watchdog Monitor found that hospitals, including Southport and Aintree, have failed to meet life-saving targets of 62 days for cancer treatment.

Hospitals began treatment for just 84% of patients referred by their GP for cancer treatment. For those receiving outpatient care, there has also been a worrying rise in the number of patients who waited more than 62 days to start treatment.

The alarming news comes as separate figures reveal the Conservative-led government has slashed almost £800million in funding for cancer treatment. Nationally, the number of NHS Trusts unable to meet cancer treatment targets have trebled in a single year.

Labour MP for Sefton Central, Bill Esterson said: "These aren’t just figures on a page. When we talk about targets being missed, it means that the Tories are making people face long, agonising waits for cancer treatment. It means that hundreds of families in Sefton Central are being put through hell waiting for treatment for their loved ones.

"This isn’t about the hardworking hospital staff who strive day in and day out to look after us. This is about a £3billion top-down reorganisation of our NHS from David Cameron, a cut in funding for cancer services, 1,200 nurses’ jobs axed in the North West alone, and services being cherry-picked for privatisation. 
"It’s not our hospitals, it’s David Cameron and his Conservatives who are to blame for this shocking situation.

"This is the first time cancer treatment waiting times have been breached since 2009. Cameron is letting his private friends take over NHS services, but Labour will put patients before profit. Labour will repeal the NHS Act that has brought disaster to our NHS. We’ll introduce a mansion tax on homes worth more than £2 million to pay for 8,000 new GPs and 20,000 extra nurses. It’s real support, not privatisation and cuts, that our hospitals need to give life-saving care."