COUNTY hospitals again missed a key cancer waiting time target, figures show.

May figures for sites such as Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital show 74.7 per cent of patients were treated within 62 days of an urgent GP referral. The target is 85 per cent.

It was 74 per cent in April, when Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group budget leaders expressed concern over the “very dramatic” decline.

Waits were 80.6 per cent in April 2013 and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust clinical director Paul Brennan said the target is “very challenging”.

He cited a lack of theatre slots for lung patients and an increase in patients to the urology department and complexity of some cases. Urology procedures were being redesigned to cut waits.

The trust is meeting four of its eight cancer targets. But only 93 per cent of patients were treated within a month of diagnosis against a 96 per cent target.

Mr Brennan said the trust hopes to make major improvements by August through extending access to specialist treatment machines to 8am to 8pm daily.

The trust also missed an overall target for 90 per cent of all patients to be treated in 18 weeks, at 87.3 per cent.

Mr Brennan said a “significant increase”, 11 per cent, in patients was behind delays.

  • What are your experiences with waiting times? Call reporter Oliver Evans on 01865 425271 or email