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News | Health


Cancer targets geing closer


MAIDSTONE and the rest of West Kent are still among the worst areas in England at meet- ing national cancer targets – but the strong drive towards im- provements now appears to be producing results. The significant target for pa-


tients having definitive treatment within 62 days of an urgentGP re- ferral improved to 68.52% in No- vember, comparedwith 62.14%in October. This compares with a national target of 85%. The two-week target for pa-


tients to be seen by a consultant after an urgent GP referral im- proved in November to 87.65% compared with 79.64% in Octo- ber. The national target is 93%. All patients who are referred


must go through the diagnostic process, but more than 90% of them will not be diagnosed with cancer. The budget-holding NHSWest


By Dennis Fowle


Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says the recovery plan byMaidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospital trust “is expected to showa positive impact on per- formance”. The trust has faced (and is


meeting) challenges on capacity, particularly on radiology staffing and diagnostic equipment, but now is experiencing a significant increase in demand due to patient growth. The increase in two-week wait


referrals to the trust is 22% com- paredwith 13%nationally. It has added clinics tomeet this


demand and is working with the CCG to prioritise patients with high-risk symptoms. This in- creased trend is expected to con- tinue and services need to be planned tomeet future growth.


downsmail.co.uk Call for 999 investment


A PERFORMANCE reviewof troubled South East Coast Ambulance Serv- ice is recommending additional investment by each of the budget-hold- ing NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in its area to recruitmore staff and invest in vehicles. The service is still miss-


ing most national targets but is closer to hitting the target (seven minutes) for the most urgent calls. Across its full area SE- CAmb is averaging 7.31 minutes but inWest Kent it is 8.08minutes. The national standards


for non-urgent calls are two hours or three hours but in West Kent SECAmb is hitting four hours and al- most six hours.


Brexit impact considered


THE risks to the local health scene as the UK leaves the EU are being considered by the budget-holdingNHSWest Kent CCG. Patients and clinicians could be warned not to stockpilemed-


ications and this may lead to 28-day prescribing for most pa- tients, who will be asked to order only what they need. Traffic management may increase local traffic levels and im-


pact on NHS staffmovements and service delivery. This is leading to risk assessments, an input in to Brexit traffic plans and proposals for specific solutions.


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ELECTRONIC SERVICE HISTORY UPDATED FOR BMW,MINI & MERCEDES VEHICLES


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