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Nearly half of cancer patients waiting too long for treatment at New Cross Hospital

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Health | Published:

Nearly half of cancer patients in Wolverhampton are being kept waiting to start treatment for longer than the recommended two months.

New Cross Hospital

In the three months to October, only 54 per cent began treatment within 62 days at New Cross Hospital, way below the national target of 85 per cent.

Cancer charities have said they are concerned by how many patients are being kept waiting to undergo treatment following an urgent referral by a GP. Analysis showed New Cross Hospital was particularly struggling to get patients treated compared to neighbouring hospitals.

During September, the rate dropped to an alarmingly-low 48 per cent.

At Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, the figure was 73 per cent in October but the average for the year so far is 83 per cent, while Walsall Manor Hospital met the target during October with 85 per cent of patients starting treatment within 62 days.

It comes after it was revealed cancer waiting time performance rates are at their lowest ever nationally, along with A&E waiting times. A&E is also an area where New Cross is struggling, with 76.8 per cent of patients seen within four hours of arrival in October.

Policy manager Matt Case said: “For anyone going through tests and treatment for cancer, it’s an incredibly anxious time, so it’s concerning that New Cross Hospital doesn’t have capacity to meet the 62-day cancer treatment target.”

A spokeswoman for the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, which runs New Cross, said: “We have been working with our neighbouring trusts (Walsall and Dudley) to support the demand.

“This collative working has resulted in the waiting time experienced for patients being reduced. In order to improve performance, we are working extensively with NHS Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group.”

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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