Northampton hospital hit by delays in diagnosing cancer inside 'crucial' 62-day target

Northampton General Hospital missed nearly all their targets for timely cancer treatments in June.
Northampton General Hospital missed nearly all their targets for timely cancer treatments in June.

Recruitment problems at Northampton General Hospital is delaying "critical" treatment for cancer patients, a report shows.

In June, the hospital missed all-but-one of their targets set by NHS guidelines for diagnosing or referring cancer patients within a 62-day standard.

Breast cancer targets were particularly affected, where half of patients with symptoms could not be referred to their first hospital appointment within two weeks of seeing their GP.

The hospital has pointed to pressures on recruiting consultants as the main factor that led to missing the targets.

The NHS sets the "crucial" 62-day target for diagnosis to ensure timely treatment can be arranged.

A spokeswoman for Northampton General Hospital said: "It is important to us that all our patients are seen according to their clinical need and are supported in their cancer journey, and we do everything we can to expedite their care when this is clinically necessary.

"NGH is in a similar position to many other trusts across the country in that we are seeing increased referrals for suspected cancer.

"We also have significant difficulty in recruiting consultants in some key specialities such as radiology, pathology and oncology.

"We are confident that we will see improvement in our performance figures in the near future."

NGH met three-out-of-nine of their targets in May and even five-out-of-nine in April.

The figures were revealed in an overall-performance board paper published in July.