THE amount of people in Worcestershire suffering with cancer who waited more than 31 days for their treatment to begin increased sharply in May.

A meeting of the governing board of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust last week heard the amount of people waiting less than a month between a decision being made on how their condition will be dealt with and the treatment starting had decreased from more than 98 per cent in April to just below 95 per cent in May – below the target of 96 per cent.

The trust – which runs Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital – heard the figures were the result of a number of factors including a 20 per cent increase in breast cancer referrals as well as patients agreeing to defer their treatment until after the Easter bank holidays.

But the trust also heard the amount of cancer patients waiting longer than the mandated 62 between their original GP referral to a treatment plan being agreed had decreased dramatically.

While the target was missed in almost 25 per cent of cases in February, this decreased to less than 14 per cent in May, above the trust’s target of 15 per cent.

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