Trust pulls out of contract as hundreds of cancer patients miss two week target

Full story in The HSJ, 1 October 2018

A foundation trust is to withdraw from a dermatology contract after hundreds of suspected cancer patients had to wait up to five weeks for a first appointment.

Medway Foundation Trust has given six months’ notice on dermatology services for Swale, Medway and Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCG areas after seeing 200 patients breaching the week waits during the past month.

Figures for June and July were 35 and 60. The problems are understood to have started after the lead consultant for the service retired and locums were difficult to recruit – but then the position deteriorated rapidly over the summer when staff took annual leave.