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What does 18wks RTT actually mean?

(6 Posts)

And is it even still a target - certainly was when I was last in the NHS.
My dad is being treated for prostate cancer. I say "being treated" - he isn't. Very early this year he had a biopsy where they discovered the cancer - thankfully localised and slow growing. He had appointments with a surgeon and a radiotherapist who were apparently both very good, and decided on radiotherapy at the beginning of June. He was told he would be on hormone treatment in preparation for 3 months and then his radiotherapy would start. So he went away and started taking the tablets. September came, he called and was told, no, the hormone treatment was 4 months after all - my dad does not get important stuff like this wrong, so he will have been told 3 months initially. Never mind. End of September came, he called and was told he was way down the waiting list. Last Thursday he called again - still 35th (or something) on the list, so call back in a month.

Now I know we are lucky his cancer isn't "serious", but all we want is a date when his treatment will start. I fond it hard to believe that his treatment has been planned since June, I think he went on the list in September.

I know the cancer target is 18 weeks from referral to treat, so what would count as the referral? He didn't go through his GP, so I guess it would be the point at which he decided on radiotherapy, and called the radiotherapist to confirm? Does his hormone preparatory treatment count as "treatment"? What can they use to complain?

(Hallowe'en bump)

QueenofWhatever Sun 16-Oct-11 18:19:37

It's 18 weeks from referral to treatment and your Dad has started his treatment (tablets). That's the technical definition and it's not just for cancer.

However they should be able to give him a ball park figure of when the radiotherapy will start. Can he go in at short notice? Where I work, we have lists of patients who can be called at short notice if there is a cancellation (couple of hours usually). If you're not happy, make a formal complaint.

Northernlurker Sun 16-Oct-11 18:27:59

Yes it's still a target but it isn't being enforced like it was - we're just still supposed to comply hmm In your case the tablets are the treatment starting so 18 weeks doesn't help you. Go to PALS in the hospital and get them to advocate with the department for a date.

OK thanks. As I thought. The tables were described as "pre-treatment" though so made me wonder. Ah well.
We'll go to PALS but talk to the consultant's secretary first.
Thanks for replies

Northernlurker Sun 16-Oct-11 18:39:08

The tablets are pre-treatment with a small t but comprise a decision to Treat with a capital T and it's the latter that 18 weeks is focused on. Good luck.

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