Turnaround continues as Trust hits all cancer targets

Turnaround continues as Trust hits all cancer targets
Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells [MTW] was ranked worst out of all 131 NHS Trusts earlier this year for cancer referral targets.

In September, it revealed it had reached the target for 85 per cent of cancer patients to start treatment within 62 days of a GP referral.

Now the latest data has shown that MTW has hit all eight NHS cancer targets, placing it in the top 20 nationally.

It has achieved the 85 per cent mark for three months in a row, and also the aim of seeing patients within 14 days of GP referral for a second consecutive month.

MTW has also exceeded six other measures including treating 96 per cent of patients within 31 days of decision to treat, and 90 per cent for treatment within 62 days of screenings for cancers such as breast and cervical – reaching almost 96 per cent for October.

Figures from September 2018 showed MTW was treating just 58 per cent of patients within 62 days. The trust came out of special financial measures the following month after more than two years. The last time all eight cancer targets were met was in March 2014.

In the face of rising demand, the Trust has turned its performance around by introducing a raft of changes, including more staff and enabling more nurses to deliver chemotherapy treatment.

It has also introduced new treatment pathways such as ‘straight to test’, where a patient referred is initially assessed by a specialist cancer nurse over the phone rather than waiting for a face-to-face outpatient appointment.

MTW’s Chief of Service for Cancer Services, Dr Henry Taylor, said: “Reaching these targets is testament to all of the incredible hard work undertaken by our clinical staff, working alongside an outstanding administrative team, who are dedicated to delivering the best possible care to our patients throughout their cancer journey.

“We are extremely proud of the progress we have made as a team over the last year.

“We will now build on the good work we’ve implemented to fulfil our ambition of becoming an outstanding cancer centre, where patients can access world-leading, high quality cancer care and treatment.”

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