Northampton General Hospital hits targets for treating cancer patients despite extra pressures of Covid-19

“Meeting these targets during winter and in the middle of a pandemic is an incredible achievement " says NGH chief

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 25th February 2021, 10:09 am
Updated Thursday, 25th February 2021, 10:12 am

Cancer patients at Northampton General Hospital are being seen within NHS target times despite the worst winter ever.

While coronavirus cases climbed alongside the pressures of winter illnesses during December 2020, the hospital hit seven national targets to provide cancer care.

More than nine out of ten patients referred to the hospital were seen within a fortnight while nearly 99 per cent of those diagnosed with cancer received their first treatment inside a month.

Northampton General Hospital

NGH chief operating officer Carl Holland said: “While the targets help to keep us on track we all know that this isn’t about the numbers.

"There is a patient behind every one of these figures who has had their cancer investigations and, if necessary, their treatment started promptly and efficiently.

“Meeting these targets during winter and in the middle of a pandemic is an incredible achievement and I am very proud of all involved.

"Our teams have risen to the challenge of making cancer services a priority and we hope we can continue to meet these targets and provide the best possible care for patients.”

Key figures from December 2020 include:

■ 94.5 per cent of patients were seen within two weeks of being referred to NGH, topping the 93 per cent target.

■ Of those, 52 per cent were seen in seven days or less.

■ 98.7 per cent of patients received their first treatment within 31 days of diagnosis or decision to treat, exceeding the 96 per cent target.

Stephanie Buckley, directorate manager in cancer services puts the success down to changes to pathways alloweing doctors to confirm cancer earlier and start treatment sooner.

Stephanie Buckley, directorate manager in cancer services, said: “It's fantastic to see how these changes are having a real impact on patient care.

“It has taken a huge amount of collaborative work and drive from many clinical teams and specialists to get to this point. Everyone has pulled together to make cancer services their No1 priority and provide these positive changes."