Wefan Gymraeg

Latest cancer waiting times show cancer plan implementation is patchy

The continued patchy implementation of the Welsh Labour Government’s Cancer Delivery Plan is demonstrated by the latest cancer waiting times, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have said.

While some health boards have seen an increase in the percentage of urgent cancer patients seen within the target 62 days, three health boards (Betsi Cadwaladr, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and Aneurin Bevan) have all seen declines in these times.

Not a single Welsh health board met the 95% target for urgent cancer patients. On a Wales-wide basis, this target has still not been met since 2008.

The Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee first raised concerns with the implementation of the Cancer Delivery Plan in October 2014.

Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:

“If the Labour Government in Wales was implementing its Cancer Delivery Plan effectively, we should be seeing a steady rise in patients being treated in a timely manner across all parts of Wales. This patchy outlook of services shows a lack of leadership by Labour Ministers on cancer services.

“Not a single health board in Wales is meeting its targets for urgent patients, and across Wales the target still hasn’t been met since 2008. Hundreds of Welsh cancer patients needing urgent care have been left waiting over two months before starting their treatment, at a time when support and swift action is vital.

“I wish that this was the extent of the problems in the Welsh NHS, but the reality is that it’s just the tip of the iceberg. With youth mental health services in crisis and the worst ambulance response times in the UK, it’s clear that the problems in our health service run deep.

“These problems are far more important than party politics, and we need to get round the table and sort them out. Unfortunately Plaid and the Tories seem to have no interest in actually fixing our NHS, putting politics before patients when they rejected our plans for a cross-party commission.”

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