Bolton is the best for cancer care waits across Greater Manchester, according to NHS England statistics. Figures also show the cancer service run by Bolton NHS Foundation Trust had the third best waits for cancer treatment in England.
Most places failed to hit the cancer target of having 85% of cases start treatment within 62 days of urgent referral by a GP. However, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust is bucking that trend and during 2018-19 had 92.2% of patients start treatment in 62 days.
It is a significant achievement as Chief Operating Officer for the Trust, Andy Ennis, said the target was achieved in the context of an increasing number of referrals to cancer services.
He said: “We are really pleased with this. It’s been a fantastic team effort and set in the context of increasing demand. The volume of cancer referrals has gone up massively, 20% across the year and in some areas 30-40% higher, breast in particular has had a surge in referrals.”
He said that teamwork was behind the successful result and that the Trust was not complacent about meeting what is likely to be a continual challenge.
He said: “We have fantastic clinical staff working really well with administrative support that goes with it. It is a team effort – it has to be. It is the whole team working together, and at Bolton everyone is engaged and working together to make sure the patient is treated in a timely manner.
“To someone with cancer, 62 days or two months is a long time. We are doing work on faster pathways to treatment to shorten the time patients have to wait because we want to be faster – better than that.”