Waiting times for Wakefield cancer patients is ‘worrying’

Pinderfields Hospital
Pinderfields Hospital

Cancer patients in Wakefield are waiting longer to be seen, and the situation is unlikely to improve soon, the Mid Yorkshire NHS Hospitals Trust has warned.

The trust, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals, missed its key target for a fifth month in a row in July.

Pontefract General Infirmary

Pontefract General Infirmary

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The government says that at least 85 per cent of patients should get their first treatment within 62 days of being referred by their GP.

In July, only 76 per cent of Mid Yorkshire cancer patients were treated within this timeframe.

But the issue is a national problem. On Thursday it was revealed that across England, the target was being missed by a record margin as 28,000 patients have waited more than two months to be seen in the last year.

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Speaking at a Mid Yorkshire trust board meeting on Thursday, chief operating officer Trudie Davies said: “One of our bigger worries is our cancer performance, which has deteriorated. It is a concern.

“At the moment we’re not in a position to move forward with it.

“We’re not an outlier. It’s a national problem but at the moment I can’t give any assurance as to the date of it being improved I’m afraid.”

Ms Davies said that the problem was in part due to reliance on the trust’s diagnostics department. Figures show that there’s been a five per cent increase in cancer referrals across England in the last five years.

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But such are the problems at neighbouring trusts, Mid Yorkshire is even taking on cases from outside its immediate area.

Ms Davies added: “We are actually being asked to help out across the rest of the region, which we will do as a good partner.”