Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital failing every cancer target
Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital is failing to hit every cancer treatment target, latest figures have shown.
The hospital has struggled to ensure cancer patients start treatment within the recommended two months, but performance has sunk further.
Alarming figures showed the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, which runs New Cross and Cannock Chase hospitals, was not meeting any of the nine national targets.
The trust said the poor performance was partly down to patients choosing to wait until the New Year for treatment, but that reduced capacity was also a factor.
More than half of patients – 45.8 per cent – were kept waiting longer than 62 days following an urgent referral from a GP, figures from January showed, way below the 85 per cent NHS target.
For those who have been referred by an NHS screening service, the figure is even lower at 32.6 per cent.
Only 46.1 per cent of patients presenting with symptoms potentially linked to breast cancer saw a specialist within two weeks.
A total of 87 per cent of patients with other forms of cancer saw a specialist within two weeks, slightly below the 93 per cent target.
A trust report said: “We are currently predicting failure of all nine of the indicators for January.
"This has been hugely affected by patients choosing to wait until the New Year to be seen or treated and in addition to this the reduced capacity over the Christmas/New Year period.”
A trust spokeswoman said: "We are diagnosing and treating more people than ever before for cancer and our staff are working exceptionally hard to provide the best care to the highest standards as quickly as they can.
"Understandably, recently some patients elected to defer their appointments until after the festive period and were seen as soon as possible afterwards.
"In order to improve performance, we are working extensively with NHS Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and have sought the support of the regional cancer alliance team and national cancer intensive support team.
"Recruitment is also underway in a number of areas to create additional capacity, including radiologists, oncologists and breast consultants."