A charity says that waiting times for cancer treatment are longer in the Midlands than anywhere else in the country. The charity Radiotherapy UK also stated that in the Midlands, 46.5% of cancer patients are waiting longer than 62 days for treatment after an urgent referral. It went further to add that for the Birmingham and Solihull integrated care board areas, the percentage was 64.5%.
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS trust has however issued a statement saying it was treating more patients this year than ever before.
A data leaked by the Health Service Journal showed that the trust wasn’t treating 10% of people who needed attention within 104 days.
The charity has also launched a campaign called Catch up with Cancer, appealing to people to support it by donating.
Prof Pam Price, the charity’s chair, said: “There has been investment in the NHS, which we welcome of course, but the trouble is, it’s not ring fenced for cancer treatments. We very welcome the new diagnostics they put in but there’s not enough workforce and for treatment unless you’ve got treatment capacity, you’re not going to get through those backlogs.”
Radiotherapy UK director Sarah Quinlan stated that no region in the UK was at the moment meeting the government’s targets for waiting times for cancer treatment, saying that it was catastrophic.
A former consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, John Glaholm said: “When I see a figure that almost half of cancer patients in the West Midlands are exceeding that 62-day target to start their cancer treatment, it’s not acceptable. The major teaching hospital, the Queen Elizabeth, where I was a consultant for many years, looks as though it’s the worst in the West Midlands region and explanations are required.”
On Wednesday, campaigners were carrying a map showing that 46.5% of cancer patients in the Midlands were waiting over 62 days for treatment after an urgent referral.
John Glaholm says that explanations were “required.”
The University Hospitals Birmingham trust has said it had opened two new wards at Queen Elizabeth hospital. Also, there are two wards coming on at the Heartlands Hospital and at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield.
There is also a plan to get the diagnostic treatment centre at Heartlands to come on later this year even as the trust is also trying to get more doctors and nurses.
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