Trust meets and exceeds national cancer waiting time targets

The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have announced that nearly all of  their new cancer patients received treatment within 31 days.

For the second consecutive quarter, nearly 100 per cent of new cancer patients cared for by Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust received treatment for their disease within 31 days of being told they need medical intervention.

In July, August and September, 97.4 per cent of patients had their first treatment, which in most cases is surgery, within one month of being told they had cancer, nearly two per cent better than the national 96 per cent target.

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This positive result follows a successful April, May and June in which the Trust treated 99 per cent of new cancer patients within 31 days of a decision to treat being made.

This means that, for the year-to-date, more than 98 per cent of patients at the Great Western Hospital received initial treatment in less than five weeks since first meeting with a doctor to discuss their care programme.

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Michael Willson, Lead Manager for Cancer Services, said the positive numbers can be attributed to several factors, including the Trust’s dedicated surgical, medical and oncology teams.

He said: “The majority of our staff have worked here for years and they have excellent knowledge of their specialist area. There’s a level of continuity here that just isn’t found in other NHS organisations.

“We have access to cutting-edge technology, including our own unique patient tracking system which lets us know at-a-glance how long a patient has been waiting for treatment.

“We can see when a patient is close to breaching their waiting time and, in those cases, our teams will go above and beyond to get that person the treatment they need as quickly as possible.”

Latest figures also reveal that since the beginning of the year the Trust has recorded a perfect score in terms of patients needing second or subsequent surgery, with 100 per cent being treated in less than 31 days.

In addition, the data shows that 97 per cent of patients requiring follow-up drug treatment, such as chemotherapy, after an initial operation for cancer also had to wait less than a month.

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Michael said: “Waiting for cancer treatment is a worrying, stressful and often scary period of time for any person. By giving our patients the drugs and surgery they need as soon as possible, we can help to relieve some of that inevitable anxiety.

“All of our staff, from consultants and nurses to office workers and secretaries, are 100 per cent dedicated to ensuring that each patient receives the best possible outcome and I think that dedication shines through in these statistics.”

Friends and Family Test data for September 2015 showed that 100 per cent of patients would also recommend the service provided by the Trust’s clinical oncology and medical oncology teams to a friend or relative.

Last year, nearly 1,500 patients had initial treatment for cancer at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, equivalent to around 120 people each month.