Publication of progress review of five cancer services at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust

NHS England Essex today publishes its report into the safety of five cancer services at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust (CHUFT).

The Incident Management Team (IMT) – set up to undertake the review – is reporting on its findings relating to five cancer pathways at the Trust: Brain and Central Nervous System; Cancer of the Unknown Primary Origin; Radiology; Sarcoma and Urology.

A review of the sixth service for skin cancers has yet to be completed as part of the wider review of the dermatology service.

This report details the findings of the progress made in five cancer services following actions identified in “The report into the Immediate Review of Cancer Services at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust”. This is part of the ongoing process to address the safety concerns identified in the CQC report published into safety of cancer services at CHUFT in November 2013.

The main findings of the report into progress of cancer services are:

  • The external reviewers reported that there were no immediate or serious concerns in the five pathways that were revisited. In line with routine quality visits recommendations were made as part of continuous quality improvement.
  • The Incident Management Team is assured that the Trust has made changes which acceptably manage the risks and is currently assured of the safety of the cancer service.
  • For skin cancer, the Trust has made progress in the areas of concern that were identified in December 2013 following a visit by external assessors, however this service remains under enhanced monitoring with the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Hospital reviewing capacity and demand management before a revisit of the service can take place.
  • The ongoing responsibility for the delivery of improvements rests with the Hospital delivering on the agreed action plan with oversight by Monitor and appropriate involvement of the commissioning bodies namely North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS England.

Author of the report Dr Christine Macleod, Medical Director at NHS England Essex, said: “We are assured that the trust has worked to improve services for cancer patients. More work is required within the dermatology service and we will be working with North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure improvements continue to be made so that patients receive the services they need and expect.”

The IMT is a time limited team established to provide strategic direction, co-ordination between all organisations, and external assurance in order to resolve all concerns associated with Cancer services at Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust.