THE shocking state of cancer care and treatment in Thurrock has been revealed through data published by NHS England.The statistics reveal that only 54% of people in Thurrock with an urgent GP referral having first definitive treatment for cancer within 62 days of referral.This compares with 62% in the Basildon and Brentwood area.The figure for mid Essex is 76.7 per cent, while north east Essex’s is 69.8 per cent.But in West Essex it is 83.6%.In comparison, England’s top-performing CCG for early cancer treatment, Richmond, treats 97.5 per cent of patients within 62 days.The other stats for the Thurrock area are as follows:Cancers diagnosed at an early stage: 50.6%One year survival from all cancers: 67.7%The bottom line is that the Thurrock Clinical Commissiong Group (CCG) has been informed by NHS England that this requires improvement.”The fact that so many CCGs in England have been identified as providing inadequate care to cancer patients, or requiring improvements in this area, is very concerning, said said Dr Fran Woodard, the executive director of policy and impact at Macmillan Cancer Support.”It highlights just how much the NHS is struggling to meet the challenge of delivering cancer services which meet all the critical needs of people with cancer. CCGs commission health services and control millions of pounds of NHS money, but the stark data shows that of 209 only seven were “top performing and 22 were “performing well together accounting to just 14% of the total.An NHS England spokesman said the care cancer patients receive from the NHS is “now the best it’s ever been .”But we’ve set stretching goals to save thousands more lives by 2020, he said. “Measured against this ambition, it’s not surprising that most local services need to make further improvements, but we’re going to track progress transparently so everyone can see how we are improving care and outcomes for patients. The worst performers on diagnosing cancer at an early stage were NHS Lincolnshire West CCG, which diagnoses just 33.3% of cancer patients at an early stage, followed by NHS Slough CCG (36.3%) and NHS Lincolnshire East CCG (36.5%). They compared unfavourably with the top-performing NHS West Suffolk CCG, where 61% of patients are diagnosed at an early stage.The worst performing CCG for one-year survival from cancer was NHS Newham CCG in London (where 63.9% of patients live for a year), followed by NHS Barking and Dagenham CCG (64.9%) and NHS Medway CCG (65.3%).The top-performing was NHS Harrow CCG, where 74.5% of cancer patients lived for a year after diagnosis.This is the first time the cancer figures have been published, although ratings for dementia, learning disabilities and diabetes were published last month.
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