Quality Care - everyone, everytime
Blood in Pee
Cancer treatment targets
13 September 2018

Recent media coverage about cancer treatment for Isle of Wight residents only tells part of the picture and may worry Island residents unnecessarily.  The 62 day target, which as an Island we are not achieving, is not the only target for the treatment of cancer that is reported.   In July 2018 we saw 98% of patients within 14 days of referral from their GP (target 93%); 100% of patients who required drug therapy or chemotherapy received it within 31 days (target 98%); 100% of patients who required surgery received it within 31 days (target 94%); 100% of patients were treated within 62 days of screening (target 90).  Indeed, in the last three years the only target for the treatment of cancer we have not achieved has been the 62 day target.

The 62 day target is for 85% of patients referred to a consultant to have completed their treatment; in July 2018 we achieved 81% in 62 days.  However almost all of these patients are referred to mainland services because they need to be seen in specialist centres by specialist consultants.   Whilst we strive to ensure that patients are seen within 62 days the key factors that make it difficult to achieve this target are the availability of diagnostics at mainland centres and the choices made by patients who may choose to delay treatment or to attend a particular specialist centre.

We strongly support the national campaigns to highlight the symptoms of cancer.  This increases demand for our services but we have a good record on the Island for meeting this increased demand and it is important that those with symptoms come forward early so that there is a better chance for treatment to be effective.   It is important for all those involved – patients, NHS Trusts and those who commission services - to play their part to improve the arrangements for the treatment of Islanders on the mainland so that more Islanders can be treated within the 62 day target.

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