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Home » Latest News » Hull Hospitals Trust rated among the ten worst in the country for cancer waiting times

Hull Hospitals Trust rated among the ten worst in the country for cancer waiting times

Hull Hospitals Trust rated among the ten worst in the country for cancer waiting times

The worst performing hospital in the country saw just 60.8% of patients starting treatment within 62 days

National guidelines are set that mandate hospital trusts to react to urgent cancer referrals within a set time period of time. The guidelines set are that within 62 days 85% of urgent cancer referrals will have started treatment, but sadly for many in the Hull and Humber area this is not happening.

The cancer waiting targets for England have not been delivered on since 2015, suggesting that the country’s hospitals are not capable of meeting demands. The worst performing hospital in the country saw just 60.8% of patients starting treatment within 62 days, and within Hull & East Yorkshire that percentage was just 69.2%.

Along with cancer targets there are other key areas where the NHS is failing to hit targets; targets for A&E waiting times and 18-week waits for operations have been similarly missed.

The Department of Health and Social Care stated that “over a million NHS patients start planned treatment with a consultant every month.” and that “last year 71,000 more people had started cancer treatment when compared with the 2010 figures”.

With a higher demand on the cancer services and the ever aging population increasing the likelihood of a lifetime cancer diagnosis it is crucial that the health service undertakes to make vital changes and improvements.

Lorraine Taylor is a solicitor based in Hull and specialising in instances of medical negligence.

“One of the hardest things to see is a person with a poor prognosis that could have seen a much better outcome if they had access to treatment without delay. In the UK we pay into the NHS to avoid a system where wealthy people have access to healthcare over and beyond everyone else, but sadly it has come to a point where many are choosing to self-fund expensive private treatments for fear that they will be left waiting too long by the NHS.”

“You can see it on social media, people sharing crowdfunding pages to try and help their loved ones get access to treatment sooner, it’s upsetting to see and I can only imagine how much stress and emotional toil is put into such an emotive campaign”.

Lorraine and her team represent people who have had their cancer diagnosis or treatment delayed to a point where it has a severe change to their health. On some occasions it may mean that more intensive treatment is needed than it would have been with an earlier diagnosis which can lead to long term side effects that could have been avoided. On other occasions, it may mean that the cancer has become so advanced that it is no longer curable and the patient’s life expectancy may be limited.

“Nothing we do will make up for someone having a deterioration in health, all we can do is help them to recover financially and ensure that their family are well provided for regardless of the outcome.”

We are very fortunate in this country to have the NHS system that we do and the cancer services and research that are available through this but ultimately improvements need to be made. If they were, not only would this help patients get the treatment they need in an appropriate timescale but it would also be more cost effective to the NHS. The cost of treating a patient with advanced cancer is nearly 2.5% more than the cost of treating a patient at an earlier stage. For example, in a report issued by Cancer Research they stated that with an earlier diagnosis of colon cancer in 4500 patients this would have saved the NHS 24 million pounds. Therefore it is clear that late diagnosis of cancer is a major driver of the NHS cancer treatment costs.

Healthcare providers need to get better at spotting early warning signs of suspected cancer and referring for appropriate investigations. The hospitals then need to be able to meet the national guidelines for treatment timescales. If this were to happen the cost saving to the NHS would mean that there was much more money available to fund treatment and other important services like cancer research. More importantly it would mean that many patients would have the opportunity to recover or have a better outcome following their cancer diagnosis. A late diagnosis can have a severe detrimental effect on the patient and their families, from an emotional and financial perspective.

If you feel that you or a member of your family have been effected by a delay in cancer treatment or diagnosis you can give our team a call today for a no-obligation consultation. Give the team at Bridge McFarland LLP a call on 01482 320 620.