Regulator clears hospital chiefs over breast check and A&E delays

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A regulator has ended an investigation into delays in breast cancer assessments and A&E performance at a NHS trust.

Officials from Monitor said there had been improvements at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Patients with breast symptoms are being seen more quickly and managers had plans in place to improve its A&E performance, they said.

Delays in two-week breast assessments caused by staff shortages at Scarborough’s hospital have led to the centralisation of checks in York. The move has improved waiting times but patients face a long journey for the service and it is understood it could be months before they can be carried out again on the east coast.

The trust has been struggling to meet the A&E target to see 95 per cent of patients within four hours for some time, also mainly due to staffing problems, but Monitor said the trust had “credible plans” to cut waiting times.

Chief executive Patrick Crowley said: “Whilst our performance regarding cancer targets has improved, and we were able to demonstrate to Monitor that we have plans in place to reduce waiting times in our emergency departments, we must nonetheless continue to play our part in improving performance against the four hour target alongside our commissioners and our partners in primary care and social care.”