A third of cancer patients in Southend are not receiving treatment quickly enough, new figures have revealed. 

Hospital trusts in England are supposed to begin treatment within 62 days of a GP's referral in 85 per cent of cases.

But last year only 37 out of 131 managed to hit that target, with 94 keeping seriously ill patients waiting longer.

And Southend Hospital was fourth in the list for the fewest people getting cancer treatment within the recommended two months. 

67 per cent of cancer pateints in Southend were treated within two months, leaving a third un-treated. 

The figures, revealed by the BBC, show that Wolverhampton, Weston, Southend, Bradford, University College London, Mid Essex, Hull and East Yorkshire and East and North Hertfordshire all treated fewer than 70 per cent of patients on time.

"The longer people have to wait for diagnosis and get treatment, the longer it will impact them, their health and wellbeing and just getting through that experience," Macmillan Cancer Support's Moira Fraser-Pearce told the BBC.

A spokesperson for the health service said: "Cancer survival is at an all-time high in England and that is because the NHS continues to put itself under pressure by ramping up the number of people who get checked so that more cancers are caught early when they are easier to treat. 

"A record 2.2million people underwent tests last year, up 15 per cent on just 12 months earlier, and nearly 130,000 were treated within the two month target."