Cancer patients forced to wait TWO months for treatment

Kings Mill Hospital GV
Kings Mill Hospital GV

Shock new NHS statistics reveal thousands of cancer patients are waiting more than TWO months for treatment.

Thousands of local NHS patients diagnosed with cancer last year waited longer than the expected two-month period before starting treatment, a new analysis of official figures reveals.

Figures show that the Sherwood Forest NHS Foundation Trust - which covers King’s Mill Hospital - had 96 patients waiting longer than two months for treatment.

This number was out of a total figure of 731 patients who were diagnosed with cancer.

Number have risen since 2013 where 77 patients out of 773 had to wait longer than 62 days for treatment.

Across the East Midlands over the course of last year, a total of 1,745 patients had to wait for chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and other forms of treatment for cancer – an increase of 18 per cent on the previous year.

NHS guidelines state that patients should receive their first treatment within 62 days of receiving an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer.

Sue Barnett, interim Director of Operations for Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We are absolutely committed to providing high quality care for all patients as our top priority. The Trust has consistently performed above the national Cancer Waiting Times standards for treating patients within 62 days following urgent referral by their GP, or through one of the National Cancer Screening Programmes. This performance has been maintained every quarter for the last five years, despite a significant increase in the number of urgent referrals received.”

“In the last two financial years we have seen a 12 per cent increase in urgent GP referrals, with almost 11,000 patients referred through this route in 2014-15. National campaigns have resulted in an 18 per cent increase in urology referrals, and a 62 per cent increase in urgent GP referrals to our upper gastrointestinal service.

“The Trust is responding to the increase in referrals by recruiting senior doctors in some areas and improving access to diagnostics with a second CT scanner planned.”