Local NHS hits national targets for elective care and cancer services

3 May 2024

NHS providers across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin have overcome significant local challenges, relating to the post pandemic recovery, to successfully meet elective care and cancer targets set by NHS England (NHSE).

These targets are set by NHSE to ensure that patients receive care in the best possible way to meet their needs.

The local health system exited Tier 1 oversight, a heightened level of NHSE monitoring and scrutiny, for elective care in October 2023 due to showing a sustained improved performance for reducing the number of people waiting for treatment longer than the NHS target position of 78 weeks. This improvement has continued with a clear plan to have all patients treated within 65 weeks by September 2024. At the time, the system remained in Tier 1 for cancer.

However, despite experiencing significant financial and workforce challenges, the system is celebrating this week after receiving formal notification from NHSE that, having met all necessary targets, it has also now exited Tier 1 oversight for cancer care.

Nick White, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: “I am incredibly proud of our NHS providers and colleagues who have worked tirelessly, against the odds, within a system facing many pressures, to make such extraordinary progress, hitting the required targets to take us out of Tier 1 monitoring and scrutiny.

“As a system, we have cleared virtually all those people waiting over 78 weeks, and significantly reduced those patients waiting over 65 weeks.  We expect to have no patients waiting longer than 65 weeks by September 2024.

“We have made significant improvements in the performance of cancer services and the 28-day Faster Diagnosis Standard (FDS), now meeting and maintaining the 75% standard.

“Colorectal urgent suspected cancer referrals are now also consistently reaching the 80% target of having an accompanying FIT (Faecal Immunochemical Test) result.   In addition, the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has made the biggest improvement in England with reducing the number of patients waiting more than 62 days for treatment.

“This really is a fantastic milestone and is testament to the unwavering dedication and commitment of our teams to meet the needs of the people we serve.”

Sara Biffen, Acting Chief Operating Officer at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), said: “Improving our cancer waiting times and performance is one of our key priorities. We have introduced a number of interventions to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment for our patients. We realise there is more work to do, but we are building on the progress we have made.”

Mike Carr, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “First and foremost, this is good news for patients across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, as it shows the progress we are making as a system.

“It’s a testament to the hard work of all partners, and we at RJAH have played our part. Over the past 12 months we have been successful in bringing down waiting times for our patients, and – with surgical activity levels now above those we were achieving pre-covid – we are well placed to continue on that path.”

Claire Horsfield, Director of Operations for Shropshire, Community Health NHS Trust, said: “I am incredibly proud of the work our teams have undertaken to ensure we have reduced the time taken for patients to be treated, with particular focus on those waiting over 65 weeks. This affords our patients a much-improved experience. Our teams are continuing this focus to further reduce waits.”


Page last updated 3 May 2024