DUDLEY is top of the local postcode lottery for cancer treatment waiting times despite falling well short of national standards.

A report presented to January’s board meeting of the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust revealed 67.1 percent of patients began treatment within 62 days of diagnosis, 18 percent short of the national target of 85 percent.

Despite the shortfall Dudley is still performing much better than University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust on 42.9 percent and Wolverhampton NHS Trust with a shocking figure of just 35.1 percent.

Diane Wake, chief executive of Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, oncology capacity is a challenge as we are also diagnosing and treating more people than ever before for cancer. 

“Our staff are working hard to reduce cancer waiting lists and ensure that patients who need a procedure are seen as quickly as possible, in order of clinical need and urgency.

 “Our performance at the Dudley Group against the 62-day target for cancer treatment remains above the national average.

 “We provide ongoing wellbeing support to our cancer patients, signpost to services, refer onwards and look to bring forward treatment dates where required. 

“We review all patients who have waited over 104 days and we do not have any patients waiting this length of time.”

All the results relate to October, the last verified figures available, at which time 96 Dudley patients had been waiting longer than 62 days for treatment after diagnosis.

There was better news for diagnosis with Dudley hitting 81.9 percent for the 28 day faster diagnosis standard, against a national standard of 75 percent.

The group fell just short against the 31 day combined decision to treat target of 96 percent with a result of 86.9 percent

The delay in decisions to treat cancers is blamed on low staffing levels and high demand over the preceding months.