KEY performance targets are being missed at Colchester’s hospital, new figures have revealed.

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust is holding its annual members’ meeting on Thursday with bosses set to discuss a range of topics including the merger with Ipswich Hospital.

But data released by the trust, shows targets at Colchester are being missed.

Only 84 per cent of patients spent four hours or less in the accident and emergency department from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge between April 2016 and March this year. The Government target is 95 per cent.

Numbers were also below targets for some specific targets relating to cancer.

Just 78 per cent of symptomatic breast cancer patients waited two weeks or less when cancer was not initially suspected with the target percentage posted at 93.

Some 82 per cent of all cancer patients had a maximum 62 day wait for first treatment after their national screening service referral, less than the 90 per cent target.

And 73 per cent of cancer patients had a two month wait after urgent referrals from their GP where the target is 85 per cent.

Two cases of MRSA were also found at the hospitals.

The trust did come close to hitting targets for cancer patients waiting 31 days or less from diagnosis to first treatment, offering patients whose operation has been cancelled another binding date within 28 days.

It also beat the target for maximum waiting time of two weeks from urgent GP referral to first outpatient appointment for all urgent suspected cancer referrals.

A spokesman for the Trust said: “The trust continues to face many of the same challenges as it did in 2016/17, including financial and shortages of key clinical staff, but we are not using those reasons as excuses for failing to make significant improvements.

“We have made tangible progress to benefit patients and we continue to build on that in 2017/18. For example, our Every Patient, Every Day transformation programme which we launched 12 months ago to bring about clinical, financial and operational improvements is ongoing.

“Our primary focus continues to be on patients, which is why our board of directors last year approved a new vision for the trust – Delivering great healthcare to every patient, every day.

“We are confident patients will benefit from our developing partnership with Ipswich Hospital and the other 24 organisations we are working with.”

FOUR people left the trust last year because of reported breaches in patient confidentiality.

A total of 101 alleged breaches were reported last year - less than the 122 in the year before.

But 11 of the more serious incidents were reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office and following investigations three members of staff were dismissed and one resigned. Legal action could be taken against two of those who have left.

There were also three never events at the trust last year - defined as serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents which should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented.

These related  to wrong site surgery - believed to be a doctor cutting the wrong toe tendon during surgery - misplaced naso or orogastric tubes and a wrong implant or prosthesis being put in.

In response to these incidents the Trust has developed a learning module for junior doctors for naso-gastric tube verification and management and introducing a more robust process for checking placement prosthesis.

More stringent measures of prosthesis verification prior to insertion have also bee put in. 

The annual meeting will be held at the lecture theatre of the

Postgraduate Medical Centre at Colchester General Hospital from 3pm on Thursday and the public is welcome to attend.

Trust chairman David White said: “The board and council of governors will listen to the experiences and views of the population.”