Staff shortage mean women waiting longer for breast cancer care

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A SHORTAGE of hospital staff means women in East Lancashire are having to wait longer for breast cancer treatment.

At the latest meeting of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust board it was revealed health bosses are missing the required target which states 85% of cancer patients must be treated within 62 days.

In May 84.8% of patients were treated within the time frame and the Trust’s director of operations Mrs Val Bertenshaw said the target was also missed in June.

Mrs Bertenshaw said the Trust had been unable to find a replacement breast surgeon although an interview for a locum had been set up and candidates were in place. But she said it was likely to be October before the vacancy could be filled.

Another reason for the failure to hit targets was due to surgeons performing more reconstructive surgery at the same time as treatment.

“It’s unlikely to recover until about September or October,” she said.