Trust makes history as cancer care performance soars
Date: 09 February 2022
Cancer patients at Medway NHS Foundation Trust are receiving some of the fastest access to cancer treatment in the UK after the Trust achieved the national standard in four key areas of cancer care (two-week wait, 31 day wait, 62 day GP referral and 28 day faster diagnosis) for the first time in its history.
Ellie Thomas, Deputy Divisional Director of Operations for Planned Care at Medway NHS Foundation Trust said: “Despite the pressures of the pandemic, staff at the Trust have been working hard to not only maintain our normal services but actively improve the care that we provide to our community.
“This has meant that cancer patients in Medway and Swale have had an earlier diagnosis, faster treatment, a lower risk of complications, a better experience of care and improved outcomes”
The Trust has now met the national 62-day cancer standard for the second month in a row, with October 2021 seeing the highest performance the Trust had recorded against the 62-day standard in more than two and a half years.
The 62-day standard was established by the NHS to provide a common expected standard of cancer care that hospitals should provide for patients. This means that the time from the first point of suspicion of cancer – such as an initial discussion with a GP – to starting active treatment for cancer should be no more than 62 days.
Dr George Findlay, Chief Executive of Medway NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am incredibly proud of all of the hard work of the cancer services team to improve the care that we provide for our local community. Receiving a cancer diagnosis is one of the most frightening things that can happen to someone, so making sure that treatment begins quickly doesn’t just mean better clinical care – it means greater reassurance and peace of mind for patients and their families too.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Cancer Services Team has worked hard to improve the service provided for patients with cancer, or suspected cancer; this has included strengthening the leadership within the team and having a stronger focus on collaborative working with other departments in the Trust and with external partners, such as Macmillan.
The Trust also works closely with Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance to continually develop and improve cancer services. The Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance brings together clinicians and managers from health, social care and other services to transform the diagnosis, treatment and care for cancer patients.
Jeremy Davis, Clinical Director of Cancer Care Services at Medway NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the Trust, but more so for our patients as it demonstrates our continuing effort to provide the best possible patient care.
“This is the first time that the Trust has achieved compliance in these four key standards, and is a credit to the excellent team we have within our cancer services department, the hard work of all the clinical services involved in diagnosing and treating patients with cancer, and the collaborative approach that we undertake with partners and all the service teams across the Trust.”
The earlier a cancer is diagnosed, the more likely it is that treatment will be successful, and the higher the chance of survival. It is important that people who are worried that they might have a cancer symptom get in touch with their GP.
Cancer patients at Medway NHS Foundation Trust are receiving some of the fastest access to cancer treatment in the UK after the Trust achieved the national standard in four key areas of cancer care for the first time in its history.