Introduction

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals Foundation Trust (ASPH) is committed to ensuring that all cancer patients receive treatment in accordance with the NHS Constitution, the national cancer strategy, national and regional objectives and targets. ‘Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer’ confirmed that cancer waiting times remain an important issue for cancer patients and the NHS should continue to ensure that cancer services are delivered to patients in a timely manner. There are a number of government pledges on waiting times set out in the Handbook to the NHS Constitution that NHS providers are expected to meet:

  • A patient’s right to be seen by a specialist within a maximum of 2 weeks from GP referral for urgent referrals where cancer is suspected.
  • A maximum 2 week wait to see a specialist for all patients referred for the investigation of breast symptoms, even if cancer is not initially suspected.
  • A maximum 1 month (31 day) wait from an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer to first treatment for acute leukaemia, testicular cancer and children’s cancers.
  • A maximum of 1 month (31 day) wait from decision to treat to first definitive treatment for all cancers.
  • A maximum 31-day wait for subsequent treatment where the treatment is surgery.
  • A maximum 31-day wait for subsequent treatment whether the treatment is a course of radiotherapy.
  • A maximum 31-day wait for subsequent treatment where the treatment is an anti-cancer regimen.
  • A maximum two month (62 day) wait from urgent referral for suspected cancer to first treatment for all cancers.
  • Maximum 62 day wait from referral from an NHS screening service (Breast, Cervical and Bowel) to first definitive treatment for cancer.
  • Maximum 62 day wait for first definitive treatment following a Consultants decision to upgrade the priority of the patients (all cancers).

The overall aim of the policy is to ensure patients are treated in a timely and effective manner, specifically to improve the quality of the patient experience and allow patients to maximise their right to patient choice in the care and treatment they need.

 

Scope

This policy relates to all patients with suspected, diagnosed or recurrent cancer and those referred via an NHS screening program (Breast, Cervical or Bowel) and healthcare professionals and administration staff who care for these patients within Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

 

Purpose

The purpose of the policy is to ensure the Trust has procedures and protocols in place for the management of all patients on a cancer pathway and that all healthcare professionals and administrative staff, who care for and manage pathways for patients with suspected or diagnosed cancer understand their responsibilities and duties in achieving the Going Further On Cancer Waits (GFOCW) targets.

 

Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Sarah Dawson, Cancer Services Manager
Ratified by: Trust Executive Committee
Date Ratified: April 2016
Date Issued: July 2016
Review Date: April 2019
Target Audience: All staff across the health economy involved in the commissioning, referral and management of patients on a 14/31/62 day pathway.
Contact name: Sarah Dawson, Cancer Services Manager

 

See also:

  • Any relevant trust policies/guidelines or procedures