PERFORMANCE: The Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust has tabled an internal exception report to its board after failing to meet the 62 day GP urgent referral to treatment target during quarter four.

Although the trust has achieved the target for the year the position at the end of March was 80.6 per cent against a target of 85 per cent. A report to the board blamed the failure on the backlog caused by winter pressures.

It stated: “The impact of the disruption felt over the winter period continued to impinge on achieving referral to treatment times for all patients and required a sustained effort to treat people with cancer in a timely way. The patients who are included in the 62 days cancer target monitoring being the most affected by the lost capacity.”

To tackle the problem the trust has scheduled additional clinics and capacity to stop the problem becoming worse as a result of the Easter and Royal Wedding bank holiday weekends.

A spokeswoman for the foundation trust said in a statement: “The performance on the cancer waiting times is reported routinely to the Trust board by way of a responsible overview of our hospital services. This report is an internal mechanism used to inform the board as to why a target is not being met and what action is being taken to address it.”