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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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NHS Trust strengthens focus on cancer care

CARE for Copeland cancer patients needs “significant work”, health bosses have said.

A review last month of the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust’s cancer services highlighted a “number of immediate risks and serious concerns”.

In a report to the Trust board meeting on Tuesday, it was stated that significant investment is needed to strengthen the service and although progress has been made “there is still much work to be done.”

Nationally, there is a 62-day wait standard for cancer patients, but the Trust is failing to meet the 85 per cent performance target in the areas of gynaecology, urology, lung cancer and gastrointestinal (GI).

Julie Hendry, the Trust’s general manager for clinical support and cancer services, and one of the authors of the report, said: “We continue to have breaches on the 62-day target.

“We are working with clinical teams to ensure these pathways improve.”

The Trust, which runs the West Cumberland Hospital, underwent a Peer Review visit in November with areas dermatology, acute oncology and radiotherapy assessed. Areas for improvements were identified and the Trust has since taken action to deal with them.

A new cancer manager has been recruited to start next month and it is hoped the 85 per cent standard can be met by June 2014.

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