Cancer patients at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) are receiving some of the fastest access to treatment in England as the Trust hits the national standard for treating patients within 62 days for 36 months in a row – one of only three trusts to reach the target every month over the last three years.
This means at least 85% of all patients at the Kent Oncology Centre started treatment within 62 days of referral from their GP.
MTW, which runs the oncology centre, hit the target despite a significant post pandemic increase in the number of referrals. This achievement also marks a huge turnaround in performance for the Trust, who until August 2019 had not hit the target for five years and ranked as the worst performing trust in the country.
The Trust continues to invest and develop the service, recently opening a new Oncology Outpatients Suite and introducing ‘super clinics’ where specialist multi-disciplinary teams work together to provide treatment quickly.
MTW has also invested in diagnostic equipment, recently treating the first patients on a new £2m state-of-the-art Halcyon machine to deliver radiotherapy. This has the potential to significantly improve treatment times whilst providing a more comfortable experience for patients.
Further investments in staffing have also been made with a recent recruitment campaign growing the Trust’s oncology consultant team by 20% and this has been supported by additional training for specialist oncology nurses.
Miles Scott, MTW Chief Executive said: “Hitting our targets means we are seeing and treating our patients more quickly, ensuring people who have been diagnosed with cancer are given the care and treatment they need quickly.
“This achievement involves so many teams across our Trust and I want to thank and congratulate them all for making this happen. Together they have introduced a range of patient-centred improvements that have enabled us to change the way we deliver care and treatment.”
Philippa Moth, MTW’s Chief of Cancer Services, added: “We are very proud of our progress but the priority going forwards is to build on our success so existing and new patients can continue to access world-class cancer care and treatment.
MTW is the fifth largest cancer centre in the country and provides specialist cancer services to around 1.8m people across Kent, Medway and East Sussex. The Trust treats people from two sites based at Maidstone Hospital and Kent and Canterbury Hospital, and also runs outpatient clinics across Kent and Medway.