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Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells cancer centre reaches waiting times goal

A Kent NHS trust has hit the national standard waiting time for cancer patients for the first time in nearly five years.

The latest data shows that the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) treated the required 85% of its cancer patients within 62 days.

The staff are overjoyed at hitting their target
The staff are overjoyed at hitting their target

The figures represent a significant turnaround for the trust, which is the fifth-largest cancer centre in the country, providing specialist cancer services to around 1.8 million people across Kent, Medway and East Sussex from hospitals in Maidstone and Pembury.

This time last year, it was only treating 58% of its patients within the standard time-frame.

Trust chief executive Miles Scott said: "It’s been our priority to get our cancer treatment waiting times back on track, so I’m delighted that we’ve achieved what we set out to do - and earlier than we anticipated too.

"This means we are now seeing and treating more of our patients quicker, ensuring people who have been diagnosed with cancer get access to the treatment and care they need.

"We know from what our patients tell us that timeliness of treatment is really important to them and this is important to us too. Delivering the standard means we’re meeting what our patients want.

"Our ambition now is to continue with this hard work.."- Miles Scott, Trust Chief Executive

"Our achievements are particularly noteworthy as we’ve seen a significant increase in suspected cancer referrals in the past two years.

"Our ambition now is to continue with this hard work, build on the great actions we’ve put in place that are delivering results and become an outstanding cancer centre, where patients can access world-leading, high quality cancer care and treatment."

In order to achieve the dramatic turnaround, the trust introduced a raft of changes to improve its cancer waiting times and respond to the rise in demand, including investing in more staff, diagnostic equipment and facilities.

As with many hospitals around the country, MTW has also seen an increase in suspected cancer referrals of 31% so far this year compared with the same time frame in 2017.

Hospitals nation wide have seen an increase in suspected cancer referrals. Stock image
Hospitals nation wide have seen an increase in suspected cancer referrals. Stock image

As with many hospitals around the country, MTW has also seen an increase in suspected cancer referrals of 31% so far this year compared with the same time frame in 2017.

Chief of service for cancer, Dr Henry Taylor, added: “This achievement is a result of a huge effort from all clinical staff working alongside a dedicated administrative team to provide the best possible care for our patients throughout their cancer journey.

"Our progress has been outstanding, but we remain committed to further improvement to ensure we deliver the best for our patients.

“We should never forget that whilst time to treatment is an important measure of how well our services are performing, MTW has always maintained its excellent track record in patient experience and outcomes from treatment.

“We provide some of the most advanced cancer care in the country, from offering patients the opportunity to get involved with ground-breaking clinical trials to highly technical radiotherapy techniques.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust turned their results around
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust turned their results around

"We have worked hard to improve our service further by establishing innovative and modern pathways to ensure our patients get access to the first-class treatment they need.”

To keep up-to-date with all the latest developments with your local hospitals and other health stories, click here.

Read more:All the latest news from Tunbridge Wells

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