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N&N fails to hit two cancer targets in April

PUBLISHED: 06:30 31 May 2014

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2009

Directors at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have pledged to increase capacity after the NHS trust failed to hit two cancer targets last month.

The Colney hospital missed a target of seeing at least 85pc of patients within 62 days of a GP referral. However, the performance was 74.8pc in April.

At least 94pc of cancer patients needing surgery should wait no more than 31 days for an operation. However, only 80.7pc of patients received surgery within that time last month, the trust’s board heard yesterday.

Directors were also told that April had been another busy month of emergency admissions and attendances. However, the hospital had met its four hour A&E waiting time targets so far this year.

Julie Cave, director of resources, said the trust was not going to hit its 31 day cancer surgery target for the first quarter of the year after the hospital was unable to carry out as many operations because a consultant had been off sick following hand surgery.

She added that the trust needed to improve the way it forecasted future demand for cancer treatments.

“We are still reviewing the 62 day target, but we have looked at how referrals have increased over the last three years and it is quite extraordinary. In some areas it has grown 20pc. Some of it has been through screening programmes and some of it has not,” she said.

A report into cancer waiting times added that 18 gynaecology patients had missed the 62 day target and nine patients needing plastic surgery had waited longer than 32 days for treatment.

Anna Dugdale, chief executive of the N&N, added that the hospital had been “exceptionally” busy over the last two months and praised the A&E team for continuing to hit targets. “We are struggling to tell what is driving demand. It is not just us, it seems to be across the patch,” she said.

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