Cancer patients being seen faster says trust

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HEALTH chiefs claim cancer patients are being seen faster than ever before after an improvement in waiting times.

Bosses at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Pontefract Hospital, say new figures show it has beaten national targets to for assessing and treating suspected cancers promptly.

The trust said the improvements mean more patients are being treated locally instead of being transferred to hospitals out of the district.

Dai Gifford, 72, who needed treatment for prostate cancer last November, praised the trust for its prompt service.

Mr Gifford, who is on the trust’s cancer peer review panel, said: “Once diagnosed, I was admitted and operated on.

“As a result, I am fully recovered. My surgeon, the nursing staff and all other staff were brilliant. I couldn’t fault them.”

The trust said 88.2 per cent of patients were being seen within 62 days of a GP referral and 99.8 per cent of urgent cases were seen within two weeks.

The figures also show 99.6 per cent had their first treatment within 31 days of deciding which treatment was best and patients with breast cancer symptoms were seen within two weeks in 98.7 per cent of cases.

The trust said it had also recruited more cancer consultants to treat lung, breast and bowel cancer and fewer patients have to travel to Leeds to see specialists or have treatments like chemotherapy.

Dr Nick Spencer, lead clinician for cancer services said: “Being diagnosed and treated with cancer is stressful enough without having to travel any more than necessary for investigation or treatment.

“Our aim is to provide care close to home, and ensure that the vast majority of our patients can get the treatment they need locally at Mid Yorkshire.”