Northumberland fails to hit early cancer treatment targets

A cancer ward
A cancer ward

Northumberland failed to meet NHS England targets last year for early treatment of cancer patients.

National guidelines suggest patients suffering from cancer should be treated within a maximum of 62 days from the moment they are referred by their GP.

But that was not a target met by the county as the annual report from the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) revealed.

Acting chair of the CCG’s governing body, Karen Bower, said: “It’s an area that we’ve noted and are actively looking to improve in the future.”

The CCG did achieve a wide range of other cancer targets and also the NHS’s 18 weeks referral to treatment specialists, consistently achieving the 92% target which has been set.

And there was more good news when it came to dementia with the Northumberland CCG consistently achieving and exceeding throughout the year the 66.7% NHS Constitution standard and overall England average.

Meanwhile, the CCG also reported that during 2017/18 there was one case of a Northumberland resident contracting an MRSA infection in hospital compared with two in 2016/17.

‘Work continues to reduce the risk of patients acquiring future cases of MRSA,’ the report said.

A survey of services provided in the county showed that 97 per cent of GP provision in the borough was rated good or outstanding, while 87 per cent of primary care was rated good, which is above the national average.

By Graeme Anderson, Local Democracy Reporting Service