Sherwood Forest Hospital Trust is already meeting the first of the new cancer performance targets that the government confirmed last week.
The 28-day faster diagnosis standard means that patients who are referred to Sherwood Forest Hospitals by their GP will know within that time whether they have cancer or not.
Coming into effect in October of this year, the changes will reduce current performance targets from nine to three.
A spokesperson for the trust said:
‘We know that cancer has a life-changing impact on patients and it is imperative that people who believe they are experiencing signs of cancer seek treatment at the earliest opportunity as this will provide them with the very best outcome.’
Rachel Eddie, Chief Operating Officer at Sherwood Forest Hospitals, said: “It is vital that patients understand that these changes will not affect the treatment we provide for our patients.
“Our duty of care to them remains our primary concern. The changes only reflect the way we report performance and will not change the way our exceptionally dedicated staff deliver care which is still focused on the very best outcome for our patients.”
As the government targets currently stand, 93% of patients referred urgently by their GP with suspected cancer must be seen by a specialist within two weeks.
Sherwood Forest Hospital has consistently exceeded the two-week wait standard for referrals from GPs for the six months from January to June 2023.
The Trust has continued to prioritise cancer treatments despite the pressures on our service of three periods of intense industrial action in March, April and June, which saw over 2,500 non-urgent appointments and treatments postponed during this period.
Urgent cancer and urgent and emergency care services were maintained throughout each period of industrial action by Sherwood Forest Hospitals, as the local NHS worked to prioritise the most urgent care.
Rachel Eddie added:
“We appreciate the impact that waiting for diagnosis and treatment can have on patients and their families.
“We continue to work hard to ensure patients can access the treatment they need and deserve as quickly as possible and are constantly looking for ways that we can improve the services we offer to them.”
Patients who think that they are experiencing the symptoms of cancer should speak to their GP team as quickly as possible.