Newcastle NHS trust failing to reach key target to start treatment for cancer patients - NHS data

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The trust is failing to meet expectations set by the NHS for cancer patients.

More than two-thirds of English NHS trusts are failing a key target to start treatment for cancer patients within a month – with one of those being in Newcastleanalysis of NHS data shows.

The Royal College of Radiologists issued a stark warning this week that staff shortages mean patients are facing worsening delays for tests or to start chemotherapy or radiotherapy, adding that every four-week delay to treatment increases the risk of death by around 10%.

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Almost every UK cancer centre surveyed by the College said shortages had led to patients’ treatment being delayed, with around a quarter saying they were experiencing delays on a weekly basis.

Newcastle's NHS trust is failing to meet targets for initial treatment of cancer patients.Newcastle's NHS trust is failing to meet targets for initial treatment of cancer patients.
Newcastle's NHS trust is failing to meet targets for initial treatment of cancer patients.

NHS rules in England say healthcare providers should ensure that at least 96% of cancer patients start treatment within 31 days of doctors deciding to treat them, and what to treat them with.

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According to the data, the Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust treated 516 patients in April 2023 with 447 of those starting treatment within 31 days of the decision to treat. This left the trust with 86.6% of patients being treated within the key target window. This is nearly ten per cent below the 96% target put in place by the NHS.

In comparison, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust saw 97.7% of 177 patients treated within the target window.

The South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust were able to meet the target for 95.6% of 180 total patients.

NHS England data shows 69% of trusts failed to meet the target.