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Missed cancer target puts hospital trust’s funding at risk

PUBLISHED: 13:43 12 January 2017 | UPDATED: 13:43 12 January 2017

Queen's Hospital, flagship hospital of the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Queen's Hospital, flagship hospital of the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.

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Important funding for the trust that runs Havering’s healthcare is at risk after it failed to meet targets on cancer waiting times.

Sustainability and transformation funding (STF) for Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS University Hospitals NHS Trust could be cut if key performance targets are not met.

The £1.8bn fund is used to help NHS trusts tackle their deficits and transform services, but is tied to performance figures.

In November, the trust fell 10 per cent below its target with only 75.4 per cent of patients beginning treatment within 62 days of an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer.

Papers from the latest board meeting reveal that the trust, which is in special measures, faces an £11.9m deficit.

Allowing for reductions to the STF because of the missed cancer target, this rises to £12.7m.

While all the funding would not be cut, BHRUT could still see a reduction and the trust has promised a “robust recovery”.

Sarah Tedford, chief operating officer, said: “We want to ensure we provide the best possible care to patients in our hospitals.

“We have a robust recovery plan in place to help us treat our cancer patients more quickly.

“As part of this we have invested in our staffing levels, more equipment and our doctors have looked at how we can manage the treatment of our patients more effectively.

“We are on track to meet the national 62-day standard by March this year.”

The recent report also notes that A&E waiting times are an area of concern, with 88.9 per cent of A&E patients being seen within four hours, compared to a 95 per cent target.

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