Nearly 500 people were stuck waiting for more than two months before receiving cancer treatment at Hampshire hospitals in 2022, according to a recent study.

Research from the House of Commons Library, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, has revealed that 478 people were stuck waiting for cancer treatment at the Hampshire Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust (HHFT), which covers Andover, Basingstoke, Romsey and Winchester.

These figures meant, 31 per cent of people had to wait more than two months for treatment to start in the region in 2022.

The trust has not hit the target of 85 per cent of patients receiving a first treatment for cancer within 62 days of an urgent GP referral since 2020.

READ MORE: Salon 73 celebrates move to larger premises in Andover

Liberal Democrats in North West Hampshire have called the new figures “horrifying”. Nationally, more than 66,000 cancer patients were forced to wait more than two months for their first treatment last year after a referral.

North West Hampshire Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson Luigi Gregori said: “The government has been driving our local health services into the ground and taking patients for granted for years. We deserve better. 

“Delays to cancer diagnoses and treatments are incredibly distressing for those with cancer and those who fear they may have it. This Conservative government has its head in the sand over staff shortages and no real plan to fix it.

SEE ALSO: Former model celebrates her 103rd birthday at care home

“They must get a handle on this crisis so cancer patients get the urgent care they need to give them the best chance of survival and recovery.”

He said the Liberal Democrats are calling for the government to hire more staff, especially specialist cancer nurses.

The party is also calling for a comprehensive strategy to ensure all those who have been left behind are offered timely cancer diagnosis and treatment and that targets be met as soon as possible.

HHFT has been contacted for a comment.