Cancer treatment targets at Northampton General Hospital back on track

Northampton General Hospital
Northampton General Hospital

Cancer treatment at Northampton General Hospital is back on track after two months of poor performance.

All NHS patients should be seen within 62 days of being referred urgently for signs of cancer.

The actual target a hospital has to meet is 85 per cent of the total number.

But in August and September, only 78 per cent and 73 per cent of people were dealt with in the two-month window.

In October, the number was back up to just over 85 per cent.

NGH chief operating officer Deborah Needham said not all the breaches were in its control.

She said: “We have a robust programme of improvement in place to ensure we can meet all the national cancer targets, and we monitor very closely all our potential cancer patients to ensure that we provide them with the best possible care.

“We have seen some improvements in our performance against cancer targets over recent months, although there are some areas that remain a challenge.

“Being a relatively small cancer centre means that the low number of patients in some categories makes achieving a percentage target quite difficult. Sometimes if just one patient is affected then it can mean that a target is failed.

“Some of the reasons for not meeting a target can be outside our control, and often include late referrals from other hospitals, and patients choosing to wait for their treatment for long periods of time.”