Cancer diagnosis delay 'due to cuts'

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The Independent Online
HOSPITAL cuts that led to a seven-month delay in diagnosing cancer in an elderly man were described yesterday as 'outrageous' by his MP, Chris Smith, writes Celia Hall.

Had 77-year-old Edward Peters' illness been diagnosed sooner, Mr Smith said, he 'would have a much better chance of recovery'.

Mr Peters was due to have surgery for prostate problems at the Whittington Hospital, north London, last October but his operation was cancelled. Cancer of the bladder was not diagnosed until April when he had been finally recalled by the hospital - in the new financial year.

Mr Smith, MP for Islington South, has taken the case to Virginia Bottomley, Secretary of State for Health. 'It is an outrageous situation. We are told that the money follows the patient but it seems that they ran out of money on their contract for prostate surgery,' he said.

Mr Peters has been told the cancer is aggressive and likely to spread.

Mike Yates, corporate services manager at the Whittington, said the case had been investigated. 'Discussing waiting times is not helpful. . . There were specific points that related to Mr Peters' case.'