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Lack of specialist staff to blame for some cancer delays says DHSC

More than 1,000 people waited more than 14-days for referral

The Department of Health and Social Care has blamed a lack of specialist staff for the delay in seeing cancer patients on the Isle of Man.

More than 1,000 people awaiting a two-week referral, in the year to date, have had that waiting time breached.

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In breast services – where 131 appointments were breached – a number have been blamed on the lack of consultant radiologist cover; a second consultant has now been appointed.

The highest area for breaches was dermatology which has seen 413 since the start of the financial year.

This has been attributed to Manx Care not having an on-Island consultant dermatologist.

A specialist consultant is working remotely to support the service in the interim whilst recruitment is underway for a permanent post holder.

Colorectal services is the second worst affected area with 159 referrals breaching the 14-day waiting since the start of the financial year.

This has been blamed on specialist staff vacancies despite locum requests being approved with the breach position being further impacted when ‘substantive’ staff are not available due to leave or illness.

The DHSC has also cited other factors for the delays including Covid-19 and an increased number of referrals

It says Manx Care is undertaking a number of remedial actions to address the demand related pressures in the short term.

This includes ‘significant recruitment’ of specialist staff and further analysis of the demand and capacity of these services to inform transformational workstreams for cancer services.

Manx Radio has contacted Manx Care for comment.

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