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Trust declares its cancer waiting list ‘unmanageable’

One of the NHS’s biggest hospital trusts has declared its cancer waiting list is now at an ‘unmanageable size’.

Mid and South Essex Foundation Trust leaders set out the stark judgement in a  paper for its July board meeting, held last week.

The report said: “The 62-day [referral to treatment backlog as of 3 July] has increased for the second consecutive week to 1,055.

“[The cancer patient tracking list] is getting bigger and has reached an unmanageable size. Referral rates have plateaued from March 2021 [but] treatment rates have not increased in line with PTL growth.

“This points to a noisy PTL, where the hospital is extremely busy managing patients who do not have cancer.”

The paper also said NHS England had recognised the trust’s 62-day cancer target needed to be delivered “in more realistic and achievable stages”.

It highlighted particular concerns around a “serious” demand and capacity problem in its dermatology department which contributed to almost half of its 62-day backlog. The trust had 445 62-day RTT cancer breaches in dermatology alone in May, the latest data reported.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 22 July 2022


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