Peterborough hospital trust not meeting NHS waiting time targets for the diagnosis and treatment of bowel cancer

Only 20 per cent of patients diagnosed with bowel cancer began treatment within the NHS standard waiting time after initial referral

Peterborough’s hospital trust is failing to meet standard NHS waiting times for the diagnosis and treatment of bowel cancer cases, according to NHS England statistics.

In March 2022, only 47 per cent of patients at Peterborough City Hospital, Stamford and Rutland Hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital received either the all clear or a cancer diagnosis within 28 days (the NHS standard waiting time) of urgent referral with suspected bowel or lower gastrointestinal cancer.

In the same month, only 20 per cent of confirmed cancer patients began their first treatment within the NHS standard of 62 days of referral with bowel or suspected lower gastrointestinal cancer.

Peterborough City Hospital, in Bretton Gate, is part of the Trust.

The NHS standard waiting time was introduced in April 2021.

‘Staff pressures’

The Trust’s boss said staff “continue to face significant pressures” and said it’s working to improve waiting times.

Phil Walmsley, chief operating officer at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust said: “Along with NHS colleagues across the country, we continue to face significant pressures, however, our staff are working tirelessly to provide the best possible services to our local community.”

A total of 468 patients at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust hospitals were given the all clear or a diagnosis in March this year, however, 248 patients (48 per cent) did not receive it within 28 days of referral.

Of the 20 patients who started their cancer treatment in March, just four people (20 per cent) started treatment within the NHS standard waiting time after initial referral.

It is a 42 percent decline from the 62 per cent of patients who received treatment within 62 days in March 2020.

Mr Walmsley added: “The Trust is fully committed to ensuring that we continue to improve waiting times for our patients on cancer pathways.

"Our cancer teams have been working extremely hard and there have been a number of successes such as in our urgent breast cancer pathway where 84 per cent of patients are told their cancer diagnosis within 28 days.

"I want to thank all of them for their continued hard work.”