Hospital ordered to explain targets

IPSWICH Hospital was ordered by the Department of Health and Social Care to explain how it will meet a two-week wait target for cancer patients.The hospital has failed to hit the target but latest figures show its performance is improving.

IPSWICH Hospital was ordered by the Department of Health and Social Care to explain how it will meet a two-week wait target for cancer patients.

The hospital has failed to hit the target but latest figures show its performance is improving.

In August, every patient suspected to have one of four types of cancer was supposed to have been seen at hospital within two weeks.

But that happened with only 70 per cent of suspected skin cancer cases seen, 85pc of urological cancers, 76pc of lower gastro-intestinal cancers, and 92pc of upper gastro-intestinal cancers.


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That compares with July figures of 50pc, 56pc, 36pc and 89pc respectively.

Medical director Ian Scott said last month that waiting times for cancer patients did not meet national targets and only half the suspected skin cancer cases are seen within two weeks of referral.

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But he added: "Only 20 per cent of cancers are diagnosed in the two-week wait system.

"The remainder don't come to us that way. Despite rather poor looking figures, patients are being seen."

A report due to be discussed at the hospital board meeting tomorrow states: "The trust had to respond to a letter from the Department of Health and Social Care regarding our cancer two-week wait and our action plan to improve this performance.

"The trust has responded giving information on the work within directorates to improve the situation, and indicating our aim to have achieved 100 per cent compliance for skin cancer referrals by the end of September 2002. Compliance for upper and lower gastro-intestinal cancer referrals by the end of September 2002 , 96pc and 96pc compliance for urological cancer referrals by the end of October 2002."

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