Papworth Hospital Foundation Trust failed to achieve its 62-day cancer target after a “poor” first quarter performance, according to board papers.

The target breach was detailed in its board papers, which the trust refuses to publish and can only be obtained via a Freedom of Information request which takes a statutory 20 working days.

The specialist cardiothoracic hospital’s July performance report said: “Performance against the metric has been poor for all three months of the quarter.

“This has been due to a number of reasons – surgical capacity, equipment failure and complex patients.

“Two breaches are being reallocated to East and North Herts Hospital Trust because they were referred on day 47 and day 77 respectively.

The paper said that of the eight breaches recorded for the first quarter:

  • Two breaches related to one patient with a difficult pathway and not originally thought to be cancer. The patient needed a lot of thinking time and changed his mind between surgery and radiotherapy.
  • Two patients had long pathways, despite having upfront PETs, they then required a biopsy and mediastinal staging.
  • Two patients had operations booked within time but were cancelled when tests showed further investigations were needed.
  • Two patients was booked in time and then cancelled due to equipment failure in theatre and the list overrunning respectively.
  • Two further breaches were reallocated to East and North Herts Hospital Trust.