Health chiefs vow to act on wait­ing times

Macclesfield Express - - WHAT’S ON -

HEALTH bosses have promised ac­tion af­ter fail­ing to meet pa­tient wait­ing times in the di­ag­no­sis of bowel can­cer.

East Cheshire NHS Trust, which runs Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal, failed to meet the stan­dard of less than one per cent of pa­tients wait­ing six weeks or more for two tests that could di­ag­nose bowel can­cer.

The trust had a to­tal wait­ing list of 410 pa­tients for a colonoscopy test, of which 91 (22 per cent), were wait­ing six weeks or more.

It also had a to­tal wait­ing list of 80 pa­tients for a flex­i­ble sig­moi­doscopy test, of which 11 (13.8 per cent), were wait­ing six weeks or more.

East Cheshire NHS Trust said it ex­pe­ri­enced ‘a tem­po­rary short­fall in ca­pac­ity’ and was work­ing to re­solve the prob­lem.

The char­ity Bowel Can­cer UK said the wait­ing times shows de­mand is out­strip­ping ca­pac­ity.

Asha Kaur, head of pol­icy and cam­paigns, said: “These wait­ing time fig­ures present a wor­ry­ing pic­ture for pa­tients and demon­strates the ur­gent need for the Govern­ment to make ad­dress­ing this cri­sis a na­tional pri­or­ity. ”

Kath Se­nior, di­rec­tor of nurs­ing, per­for­mance and qual­ity at East Cheshire NHS Trust, said: “Our ab­so­lute pri­or­ity is pa­tient safety and we can con­firm that no pa­tient re­ferred on a can­cer path­way has waited more than six weeks for colonoscopy. The fig­ures are for rou­tine re­fer­rals for di­ag­nos­tic tests. In line with trust pol­icy, the pa­tients wait­ing more than six weeks for a colonoscopy are be­ing in­di­vid­u­ally mon­i­tored and pri­ori­tised ac­cord­ing to clin­i­cal need. The cur­rent wait­ing times for rou­tine colonoscopy are closely mon­i­tored. In re­cent weeks the trust has ex­pe­ri­enced a tem­po­rary short­fall in ca­pac­ity for rou­tine colonoscopy which has led to a short term in­crease in wait­ing times for some pa­tients. A plan is in place to re­turn per­for­mance to nor­mal levels as a mat­ter of ur­gency.”

Mrs Se­nior said the trust’s per­for­mance against over­all na­tional can­cer stan­dards is ‘very good’, with over 98 per cent of pa­tients with sus­pected can­cer be­ing seen within two weeks of re­fer­ral.

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