The majority of clinical commissioning groups in England need to improve their cancer services to meet ambitious targets laid out by the Cancer Taskforce that are expected to save an extra 30,000 lives a year by 2020.

To help raise the standard of patient care, NHS England has undertaken a review of 209 CCGs to provide a snapshot of their performance on six clinical priorities including cancer, looking at aspects such as waiting times and diagnosis.

According to the data, two-thirds of CCGs are failing to ensure that 85 percent of cancer patients begin treatment within 62 days of an urgent referral, while over half are missing one-year survival targets.

There also needs to be a significant improvement in cancer diagnosis, with the majority of CCGs reporting that 40-60 percent of cases were diagnosed at an early stage.

"NHS cancer patients' care is now the best it's ever been, but we've set stretching goals to save thousands more lives by 2020. Measured against this ambition it's not surprising that most local services need to make further improvements, but we're going to track progress transparently so everyone can see how we are improving care and outcomes for patients," said NHS England.

"On top of current funding, this year we are also investing an extra £15m in improving early diagnosis and setting up Cancer Alliances to bring together leadership across local areas to drive improvements."