Posted: Tue 23rd Apr 2024

Hundreds facing cancer treatment delays as waiting times hit second-worst on record for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

Hundreds of people across Wales were left facing anxious delays to start their cancer treatment last month.

In February Wales recorded its second worst cancer waiting times on record, with just 53.4 per cent of patients starting their first definitive treatment within 62 days.

75 per cent of patients are expected to start their treatment within 62 days of first being suspected of cancer, with the Welsh government setting a target of reaching 80 per cent by 2026.

However February’s saw over 800 patients across Wales wait longer than the target time to start their treatment.

Performance amongst some cancers remains even more concerning, with just 31.6 per cent of people diagnosed with urological cancer starting treatment on time.

31.8 per cent of patients with lower gastrointestinal cancer started their treatment on time whilst just 32.2 per cent of patients with gynaecological cancer began their treatment within 62 days.

For urological cancer this is the worst level on record, and for lower gastrointestinal cancer this is the second worst on record.

Glenn Page, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, has now called on Wales’ new First Minister, Vaughan Gething to deliver “real change and improvement within cancer care.”

Research carried out by the leading charity found that 2023 was the worst year on record for cancer waiting times in Wales.

“Once again Wales’ cancer treatment target has been missed, with hundreds of people with cancer being left to face the anxiety of what, for some, could potentially be life-threatening delays to their treatment,” said Glenn Page.

“This is one of the worst performances on record.

“That is why improving cancer treatment waiting times and reducing waiting lists is now set to become a true litmus test of the leadership provided by Wales’ new First Minister.

“Hardworking healthcare professionals in Wales are running on empty, doing everything they can in a system that needs urgent reform.

“This can’t go on. It’s time the Welsh government made good on the promises of its Cancer Improvement Plan by delivering real change and improvement within cancer care.

“If you or someone you love is affected by cancer, we’re here, whatever you need to ask. Call Macmillan’s free Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, open every day, 8am to 8pm.”

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