Dramatic cuts in hospital waiting times

IPSWICH Hospital has slashed waiting times to see people suspected of having cancer.Although the NHS Trust has still not fully hit national targets that 100 per cent of patients should be first seen within 14 days of a suspected cancer diagnosis, more than three times more patients are being seen since July.

IPSWICH Hospital has slashed waiting times to see people suspected of having cancer.

Although the NHS Trust has still not fully hit national targets that 100 per cent of patients should be first seen within 14 days of a suspected cancer diagnosis, more than three times more patients are being seen since July.

Huge strides have been made to hit targets and in October, 98.7 per cent of cancer patients were seen within the two weeks.

The figures showed an increase of almost 10 per cent from September where only 89.30 per cent of patients were seen within that time.


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In July this year only around 30 per cent of patients were being seen within the two-week target.

In other areas waiting times have been dramatically reduced and CT scan waiting times have halved in the last month.

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Patients who would normally have to wait up to 11 weeks can now be seen within 6 weeks.

Three weeks have also been chopped off waiting times for ultrasound scans but patients still face a 15 week wait for a scan.

Waiting times for barium meals and barium enemas have been reduced by a week down to six weeks.

At a meeting of the Trust board, Ipswich councillor John Mowles said: "Some of these reductions in waiting times have been quite dramatic.

"They are extremely good news for the Trust and for people waiting."

In September the Trust was ordered by the Department of Health to state how it was going to meet the targets for the two-week cancer wait.

It was one of the areas that let the Trust down in the Star ratings performance leaving them with just one star rather than two.

The Trust had aimed to achieve 100 per cent compliance for skin cancer referrals by the end of September 2002, 96 per cent compliance for upper and lower gastro-intestinal cancer by September 2002 and 96 per cent compliance for urological cancer referrals by the end of October 2002.

In other areas during April to October the Trust managed to keep within targets and no inpatients waited more than 15 months for treatment but new targets have now dropped that to 12 months to be achieved by 2003.

Also no outpatient waited more than 26 weeks for treatment, in line with government targets.

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