About us

Southend University Hospital responds to incorrect story in the Echo newspaper

14 September 2015

Health Care

A story published in today’s Echo newspaper states that cancer patients in Southend and Castle Point and Rochford have to wait longer than anywhere else in the country.

This is not correct; the story is based on inaccurate information that was supplied to the Echo from the Department of Health.

Jon Findlay, chief operating officer at the hospital, said: "Of the ten cancer standards we are monitored against we are consistently achieving the majority of them.

"Disappointingly the information put out by the Department of Health around the 62 day target was based on one month's figures which were distorted as due to technical issues we were unable to upload our data to the central system last week.

"NHS England information were made aware of this prior to publication of the figures and had we been approached prior to publication of today's article could have given the correct information.

"Our actual performance for July was 82.3%, which whilst we recognise is still below 85%, exceeds the national average of 81.6%.

"We currently treat around 70 patients a month who have been referred urgently by their GP with suspected cancer and of these overall our performance is 82% treated within the 62 day standard.

"As a designated cancer centre we also have referrals from other hospitals, where part of the diagnosis is undertaken in another organisation and are often more complex cases.

"We recognise that there is more we need to do to reduce cancer waiting times and there are detailed plans in place to make improvements but it is certainly not true that our patients are waiting longer for treatment than anywhere else in the country."