THE TRUST which runs the hospitals in Pembury and Maidstone is still failing in three key areas, according to latest research.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) has missed targets for A&E admissions, cancer care and planned operations.

The data, revealed in a BBC study, ranked MTW below average in the UK and among the country’s poorest performing for cancer care.

A spokesman admitted the trust was experiencing ‘high demand’ on emergency services and that planned procedures had been cancelled.

But while cases of flu have been noted within the infirmaries, MTW has seen more A&E patients in last month compared to December last year, and in a faster time.

But for cancer care the trust is within the bottom ten in the country.

The report into MTW performance found:

  • For A&E (emergency department) 85 per cent of patients were attended to within four hours. The NHS target is 95 per cent and the UK average is 85 per cent.
  • In cancer care 69 per cent of patients are treated within 62 days, which is behind the 85 per cent target and 82 per cent UK average.
  • For planned operations and care MTW saw 85 per cent of patients within 18 weeks. This was short of the 92 per cent target and 89 per cent UK average.

An MTW spokesman said: “We have seen a very busy period over the last few weeks at the same time as a background of flu in the community.

“We have seen a number of patients with flu-like symptoms with a very small number of confirmed flu cases.

“We have worked throughout last year to put plans in place to deal with this winter’s pressures.”

The data also showed MTW ranked 127 out of 134 trusts for starting cancer care treatment.

It ranked 56 out of 133 for A&E and 104 out of 125 for planned operations.

In some areas across the country patients were reportedly waiting an hour or more inside an ambulance for a bed space and even being treated inside a cupboard.

The spokesman said this had not happened at MTW.

“Our staff are well prepared for this expected annual surge in demand and we are very grateful for their hard work, he added.

“Additionally, we are pleased to have month-on-month improvement in the performance against the 62 day target for cancer treatment from July to September.

“As a tertiary referral centre for cancer treatment, our performance is affected by other NHS Trusts referring patients to us close to or after day 62.

“This has affected performance in October and November but our early data is showing improvement in December.”