Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust [MTW], which also runs Maidstone Hospital has 8,000 people still awaiting screening for a range of cancers including two of the UK’s biggest killers – breast cancer and bowel cancer.
The backlog was revealed at Kent County Council’s [KCC] health and overview scrutiny committee last week.
“The waiting lists are growing. The diagnostic screening for breast screening is getting longer. The NHS is not catching up,” Cllr Nick Chard from Sevenoaks said.
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust says breast screening service for high risk patients restarted on April 27, and bowel cancer screening service began again on May 19, while a more general service resumed on July 13.
A Trust spokesperson said they hoped to be at normal capacity by the end of August.
“We are quickly and carefully reviewing all of our patients to ensure we treat those who have greater clinical need first and we would like to thank them for their patience and understanding,” he said.
“Our priority over the last few months has been ensuring that everyone who needs cancer treatment and urgent and essential care has been able to get it when they need it.
“At the start of the pandemic, to reduce the spread of the virus and protect our patients, the public and our staff, some non-urgent appointments, diagnostic procedures and planned surgeries were postponed or replaced with telephone or video consultations.”