PERFORMANCE: Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust failed to hit a target for the two-week cancer wait by three patients after a surge in suspected bowel cancer referrals, shows a performance report to the Merseyside PCT cluster.

The trust reported that in April 92.7 per cent of patients were seen within the two-week timeframe for urgent GP referral to their first outpatient appointment against a target of 93 per cent.

There was a “huge increase” in referrals due to a Department of Health (DH) bowel campaign, says the report.

“Although trusts had increased clincal capacity based on DH estimates, it was found that demand was much higher than predicated,” it says. “However there were also a large number of patients who cancelled an appointment even though they were informed it was an urgent referral.”