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Colchester: Hospital is “on the road to recovery”

PUBLISHED: 17:23 10 April 2014 | UPDATED: 17:23 10 April 2014

Kim Hodgson interim chief executive at Colchester Hospital University Foundation NHS Trust

Kim Hodgson interim chief executive at Colchester Hospital University Foundation NHS Trust

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Cancer services in Colchester are “on the road to recovery” according to hospital bosses.

Highlights of a recent review of progress in improving cancer services were read out to members of Colchester Hospital University Foundation NHS Trust’s Board of Directors, which met in public yesterday.

A new, nationally recognised IT system is being rolled out for cancer services which will collate cancer patient data and has safeguards to make sure everyone is seen within the target time.

The system will be backed up by compliance managers so the service is not reliant on just the computer program.

Kim Hodgson, trust chief executive, quoted a recent review of work to improve services which found “green shoots of progress against the action plan”.

Ms Hodgson added: “It is pleasing to the board and reassuring to staff that we appear to be on the road to recovery.

“I believe the action plan can be changed because it is no longer fit for purpose. I don’t think it is relevant in terms of what we are trying to do in improving the quality of the organisation.

“We have agreed in principle to rework and refresh the various action plans we have in order to make them more relevant to the situation this trust is in now, a year later.”

Sean McDonnell, medical director at the trust, told the board work on a new governance structure was also nearly complete.

He added: “One of the things which came out of the cancer review was ‘we told you so’ but it had not been heard. We need to make sure the language is understood by all levels of the trust.”

However it was revealed at the meeting that in February the trust did not meet three cancer standards in breast cancer patients, 31-day and 62-day first treatments, mostly due to a lack of capacity in breast, urology and gastrointestinal departments.

But the performance was an improvement on the previous month when seven standards were missed, and additional clinics and staff have been put on to tackle the shortfall.

A total of 896 patients were listed in February, of which 96% were seen within two weeks.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission are next visiting the hospital on May 6-7.

A formation of Lynx helicopters made a stop at Wattisham Flying Station today to mark the end of the aircraft’s distinguished 40-year career with the British Army.

A former head teacher from Saffron Walden who was found with “horrific” child abuse images has avoided jail.

A man from Bedfordshire has been arrested in connection with a ram-raid in Long Melford.

More than four thousand people have signed a petition launched by a concerned Mum, urging the county council to scrap a controversial consultation into cutting free school transport.

A man and a teenager from Stowmarket have been charged with robbery along with a series of other offences.

Ipswich Town Hall is preparing for its 150th birthday with a major celebration at the end of the month.

A 26-year-old man who was wanted on recall for prison after breaching the terms of his licence has been found.

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