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Waiting time target for cancer patients missed again

Welsh Conservatives have criticised another missed monthly target to treat urgent suspected cases of cancer in Wales.

 

85.9 per cent of patients were seen within 62 days in September, according to statistics published today. Labour’s target is 95 per cent, which hasn’t been met since June 2008.

 

The figure is slightly better than August – but still a deterioration on July – when it stood at 87.2 per cent.

 

Last week Welsh Conservatives launched innovative proposals to reduce the referral to diagnosis target to 28 days by 2020, introduce a national mobile cancer treatment service and improve access to modern cancer drugs.

 

The five year – 100 million pounds – Cancer Patients’ Fund will also:

 

  • Establish an annual public education campaign to raise awareness of the causes and symptoms of cancer
  • Provide a follow-up appointment guarantee so that all patients are seen within a maximum of six months of the conclusion of their initial cancer treatment episode
  • Appoint a Cancer Patients’ Champion to hold government and health boards to account for the delivery of national and local Cancer Delivery Plans

 

 

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar AM, said:

 

“Over seven years have now passed since this target was last hit. That’s a national scandal that Labour consistently refuses to acknowledge.

 

“Communities will rightly question why Labour ministers have failed to oversee any significant, prolonged improvement and patients deserve an explanation.

 

“More than 80 people didn’t get the treatment they needed in the appropriate time during September alone. That’s 80 too many.

 

“Delays between diagnosis and treatment create huge added worry for patients and their families and can often result in poorer outcomes.

 

“Welsh Conservatives would provide the investment our NHS deserves. A 100 million pounds patients’ fund would ensure accountability in frontline cancer services and boosted access to treatment.”