The number of NHS foundation trusts that have breached urgent cancer referral targets has more than quadrupled in a year, a recent study has revealed.
The target is that 85 percent of patients with suspected cancer should start treatment within 62 days of being referred by their GPs.
Eighteen trusts breached this target from October to December 2013, the report by Monitor shows.
This is up from 12 the previous quarter and compares to four in the same quarter in 2012. It shows a growing crisis in the years since the Tories came to power.
The study also shows that the number of trusts in deficit has nearly doubled over the same period—39 are now in financial trouble.
Waiting lists have soared in 80 trusts with 1.6 million people now waiting for treatment.
Sixteen of these trusts blamed the reduction of capacity in hospitals for making it harder to cope with sick people in need of care.