Patients at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LUHFT) are experiencing shorter waits for their cancer care following significant improvements to 62-day and 28-day waiting lists. 

At the end of December 2023, LUHFT had fewer patients waiting over 62-days than planned, and its improvements in the faster diagnosis standard means the Trust is on track to meet NHS England’s target of 75% of patients getting a cancer diagnosis, or having cancer ruled out, within 28 days, by March 2024.

As a result of making the improvements required, NHS England has now removed LUHFT from its cancer tiering – a national programme which consists of trusts identified as needing the most support. 

Pancreas team with a surgical robot

James Sumner, Chief Executive at Liverpool University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m immensely proud of our teams for their incredible efforts in reducing cancer waiting times for our patients. As a result of their hard work, they are helping to ensure that patients are seen and get the vital treatment they need as soon as possible.

“This significant milestone has been achieved despite the challenges faced by the NHS over recent months and is testament to the dedication and compassion of teams who are committed to putting our patients at the heart of everything we do.”

In addition to enhanced teamwork across LUHFT’s hospital sites and improvements to patient care pathways (the journey of a patient during their time in hospital), the Trust also worked closely with partners in primary care, NHS Cheshire and Merseyside and the Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance, to improve waiting times.

LUHFT was moved from NHS England’s Tier 1 into Tier 2 for cancer in September 2023, before being removed from tiering all together in January 2024. 

The Trust is now focused on continuing to maintain and build on the improvements it has seen in the last 12 months, which included being removed from NHS England’s Oversight Framework segmentation 4 and national Recovery Support Programme (RSP) – a special programme for hospital trusts that required intensive support to better improve how care is provided for patients.