THE trust which runs Basingstoke hospital failed to meet its cancer waiting time targets, figures show.

The most recent figures published by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) for July show that three cancer waiting time targets were not met.

These related to the wait for first treatment from urgent GP referral; the wait for surgery; and the wait for drug treatment.

A spokesperson said that its failure to meet the targets was due to the "effects of people not accessing care during the pandemic".

The trust has a target for 85 per cent of cancer patients to wait less than 62 days for their first treatment following an urgent referral from their GP.

In both June and July this target was not met, with 83.3 per cent of patients receiving treatment within this timescale.

This was rated as ‘red’ on the trust’s scorecard system, which means “the trust is not performing well, showing a large deviation from the monthly goal”.

Prior to this, the trust had met the target every month since August 2020, except for February this year when it scored 84.5 per cent.

The trust also failed to meet its 31 day wait target for cancer surgery, which is set at 94 per cent.

In July, 92.6 per cent of cancer patients were treated within this timescale, which again gave the trust a ‘red’ on its scorecard.

This target had been previously met every month since August last year, with most months being at 100 per cent.

The trust’s target for offering cancer drug treatment within 31 days is set at 98 per cent. In July, 97.7 per cent of patients were offered treatment within this timescale which was graded as ‘red’ on the scorecard.

Again, the trust had previously met this target every month since August last year.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We remain fully committed to ensuring all of our patients receive timely care and are proud that cancer care continued throughout the pandemic here at Hampshire Hospitals. However COVID-19 continues to impact how we work and we are continuing to see significantly more patients referred to our cancer services – currently around 200 additional referrals a month – as we see the effects of people not accessing care during the pandemic.

“Despite these challenges, the Wessex region of which HHFT is a part of, has consistently held the lowest number of patients waiting over 62 days nationally and the trust also remains above the national average for patients receiving treatment within two months of an urgent referral.

“Whilst we recognise that we still have a way to go and even more can be done, our staff continue to work incredibly hard to be there for everyone who needs us, and we remain committed to doing all that we can to improve patient wait times. We have a number of plans in place to support this, including increased clinic appointments and recruiting additional staff.”