Quarter of urgent cancer referral patients wait over two months for treatment at Colchester hospital

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust has been ranked in the worst performing hospital

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust has been ranked in the worst performing hospitals in the UK for its cancer referrals - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

More than a quarter of cancer patients at an Essex hospital had to wait over two months for treatment at the end of last year.

Colchester General Hospital

Colchester General Hospital

The figures released by NHS England show that only 234 of the 312.5 patients referred to the Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust as an urgent case by their GP received their first treatment within 62 days - just 74.9%.

National targets set by government state that 85% of patients must be seen for their first cancer treatment within 62 days of an urgent referral by their GP.

It means that patients at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust had the 12th longest wait for treatment in the country from October to December last year, of 161 hospitals across England which had five or more referrals.

A spokesman for Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust said: “The trust’s cancer performance has been improving steadily and consistently throughout 2015/16.

Cancer referrals table England large crop

Cancer referrals table England large crop - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


“In order to meet rising demand, we’ve been increasing our capacity by putting on additional outpatient clinics and theatre sessions in specialties which have been underperforming.

“Since June of last year, we’ve been receiving advice from national experts from the NHS IMAS Cancer Intensive Support Team. We’ve also been recruiting staff to key positions, such as clinical nurse specialists and consultants, and have been working closely with North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group to improve our performance against national operational standards.”

Most Read

The hospital has improved its referral times, from 71.8% (211 of 294) patients seen within 62 days from July to September 2015, and 69.7% (234 of 335.5) patients from April to the end of June.

However, the last time that the Colchester hospital met the national target was in quarter one of 2013/14, in which 90.1% of patients were seen within 62 days of being referred by their GP.

Colchester MP Will Quince

Colchester MP Will Quince - Credit: Su Anderson

Colchester MP Will Quince said: “It’s very disappointing the hospital is missing targets on cancer treatment. We all know that the hospital has been going through some tough times, but cancer care should be a real priority.

“With cancer, early treatment is key. Every day is vital.

“The good news is that the percentage of cancer patients getting treatment within 62 days at Colchester is going up. I hope the hospital can build on this progress and get closer to the national 85% target.

“I continue to work closely with hospital management and the Department of Health to help get the hospital out of special measures and improve patient care.”

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds. Photograph Simon Parker

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

Based on the most recent figures, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust was the best performing hospital in Suffolk and north Essex, with 89.8% of the 285 patients referred for an urgent appointment seen within two months.

Of 154 patients referred to James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Great Yarmouth, which serves a number of north Suffolk residents, 88.3% of patients were seen within two months at the end of 2015, and at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, 87.6% of 181.5 patients were seen. It remains the only NHS trust in Suffolk and north Essex not to fall below the national target since 2008.

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock said: “I’m delighted that West Suffolk Hospital has yet again more than reached it’s target.

“As everybody knows, fast diagnosis is important for anyone with cancer and it’s good news that our local hospital is doing well.”

Ipswich Hospital

Ipswich Hospital - Credit: Archant

Nationally (ie England) that 62-day standard was breached for the eighth quarter in a row – the national figure was 83.5%. Almost half of the providers failed to achieve the standard – 72 out of 153 – with performance ranging from 44% to 100%.

How is your hospital doing?

COLCHESTER HOSPITAL UNIVERSITY NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

In quarter 3 of 2015/16, which runs from October to the end of December, 74.9% of 312.5 patients received their first cancer treatment within 62 days of an urgent GP referral.

The last time the Colchester hospital met the national target was in quarter 1 (from April to the end of June) with 90.1% of patients seen within 62 days.

IPSWICH HOSPITAL NHS TRUST

In quarter 3 of 2015/16, 89.8% of 259 patients were seen for their first cancer treatment within 62 days of an urgent GP referral. This is the highest figure since quarter 4 of 2012/13, in which 91.7% of patients were seen within 62 days.

The hospital has only missed the national 85% target twice since 2008 – in Quarter 2 of 2012/13, when only 83.6% of patients were seen with 62 days, and 84.9% in quarter 1 of 2010/11.

WEST SUFFOLK NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

Of the 181.5 patients referred in quarter 3 of 2015/16, 87.6% were seen for their first cancer treatment within 62 days. This figure is down from 88.4% in quarter 2 of 2015/16 and 89.6% in quarter 1 of 2015/16.

JAMES PAGET UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

During quarter 3 of 2015/16, 89.8% of 259 patients had their first cancer treatment within 62 days of an urgent GP referral.

It is the first time the hospital has met the national target since quarter 4 of 2014/15 when 86.3% of patients received treatment within 62 days of referral.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus