Cancer Waiting Times in Wales Reach Crisis Levels, Charity Warns

Cancer waiting times in Wales have reached crisis levels, with only 53.4% of patients starting treatment within 62 days. Macmillan Cancer Support warns of the severe impact on patient wellbeing, urging the government to provide more support to address this urgent issue.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Cancer Waiting Times in Wales Reach Crisis Levels, Charity Warns

Cancer Waiting Times in Wales Reach Crisis Levels, Charity Warns

Cancer waiting times in Wales have reached crisis levels, with only 53.4% of patients starting treatment within 62 days of suspected cancer in February 2024, according to the latest Welsh government statistics. This is the second lowest percentage ever recorded, and Macmillan Cancer Support has warned that the longer waiting times for cancer treatment in Wales are a 'crisis'.

Richard Pugh, head of partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support, stated that this is a pattern that has developed over years and is now considered a crisis. "Patients are waiting longer than they should, which has a huge impact on their financial and psychological wellbeing, as well as on their families," Pugh said.

The Welsh government acknowledged the issue and said it is investing heavily in cancer services to improve diagnosis and access to high-quality care. It has also launched a national program to support recovery in cancer waiting times, with £2 million per year for three years.

Why this matters: The crisis in cancer waiting times has significant implications for patient outcomes and wellbeing. Delays in cancer treatment can lead to more advanced stages of the disease and reduced chances of survival, highlighting the urgent need for improved cancer services and support for the healthcare workforce.

However, Pugh emphasized that the existing workforce alone cannot deliver the necessary improvements, and the government needs to provide more support and planning to address the issue quickly. The new First Minister, Vaughan Gething, is said to be dedicated to addressing the cancer care crisis in Wales, but collaboration between health boards and support for the existing workforce are crucial to improving the situation.

Key Takeaways

  • Cancer waiting times in Wales at crisis levels, only 53.4% start treatment within 62 days.
  • Macmillan Cancer Support warns longer waiting times have a huge impact on patients' wellbeing.
  • Welsh government investing heavily in cancer services to improve diagnosis and access to care.
  • Delays in cancer treatment can lead to more advanced stages and reduced chances of survival.
  • Government needs to provide more support and planning to address the issue quickly.