Nearly 100 people left in limbo during March as cancer treatment delays continue
Macmillan warns that Wales’ failure to meet nationally set cancer treatment targets means 96 people faced treatment delays in March this year alone.
Highlighting the Welsh Government’s latest cancer treatment waiting times, published today, Macmillan Wales is concerned that both the 31-day and 62-day targets are being missed with such consistency.
While there were small improvements in March, Wales missed both its cancer treatment targets and has still not met its urgent suspected cancer treatment targets since 2008.
The charity warns far too many patients are facing a heart-breaking wait for their treatment to begin.
Richard Pugh, Head of Services for Macmillan Wales, said: “We cannot underestimate how vitally important early diagnosis and timely treatment is for people with cancer in Wales.
“Not only does timely treatment have the potential to improve outcomes, it also avoids creating unnecessary anxiety for cancer patients.
“Hearing the words ‘you have cancer’ is, for many people, the most difficult experience of their lives. The additional anxiety placed on people facing delays must be heart-breaking.
“The figure to focus on here is 96 people – and the loved ones who surround them - who have found themselves in such a position because the system lacks the capacity to deliver their treatment on time.
“Our NHS staff are fantastic, but they are not only trying to deal with a huge rise in demand – a 35.3% increase for urgent suspected cancer treatment compared to five years ago – but also the financial challenges facing our health service which are greater than ever before.
“The Welsh Government needs to put extra capacity in place to make sure every cancer patient in Wales is given the best possible chance, by being diagnosed at the earliest opportunity and by starting their cancer treatment on time.”
If you have been affected by cancer and would like information and support from Macmillan, visit www.macmillan.org.uk or call the Macmillan Support line on 0808 808 00 00.