The trust that runs Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital was the sixth worst in the country for ensuring patients with suspected breast cancer saw a specialist within two weeks, new figures have revealed.
NHS statistics for April to June showed that only five other trusts out of 150 across the country referred fewer patients.
The figures – released by NHS England – also revealed that the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust was among the worst performers for referrals for upper gastrointestinal cancer within a fortnight, with just seven trusts nationally referring fewer than the 85 per cent recorded at New Cross.
For breast cancer, figures show that 93 per cent of the 374 patients suspected of having the disease were sent to a specialist in 14 days.
Only South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London and Bedford Hospital NHS Trust had lower referral rates.
However, the trust did achieve much higher percentages for getting patients seen again after 31 and 62 days, with rates up to 98.5 per cent and 100 per cent respectively, although with 68 and 37 patients.
New Cross bosses said that in many of the cases where people were not referred within a fortnight it was due to patient unavailability.
Trust medical director Dr Jonathan Odum said: “Although this is outside of the trust’s direct control, we remain committed to improving the service we offer our patients, and we are looking to offer a wider choice of appointments to ensure that our patients can be seen within the two-week standard.”