Worrying deterioration in cancer waiting times
Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar, has spoken of a “worrying deterioration” in cancer waiting times, as new figures were published today.
Figures for the quarter ending 31st December 2015 show that the number of ‘urgent’ patients seen within the target 62 days has deteriorated against the previous quarter, which ended in September 2015.
In October-December just 83.37% of patients ‘newly diagnosed with cancer via the Urgent Suspected Cancer route’ started treatment within the time limit; compared to the previous quarter’s figure of 85.6%.
The Welsh Government’s target is 95% and hasn’t been met since 2008.
Just prior to Christmas the 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:
“Today’s figures highlight a worrying deterioration in urgent cancer waiting times in Wales, against a target which hasn’t been met since 2008.
“Ultimately, Welsh communities have every right to question whether performance is ever going to reach an acceptable standard under Labour.
“Delays between diagnosis and treatment create huge added worry for patients and their families and can often result in poorer outcomes.
“Labour’s record-breaking NHS budget cuts have hit frontline services hard and it’s patients and their families who feel the consequences first hand.
“Welsh Conservatives would provide the investment our NHS deserves and our 100 million pound patients’ fund would ensure accountability in frontline cancer services and boosted access to treatment.”