Macmillan Cancer Support responds to NHS Wales Cancer Waiting Times confirming worst on record results

Macmillan Cancer Support responds to NHS Wales Cancer Waiting Times confirming worst on record results

Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships at Macmillan Cancer Support, says: “Today’s data confirms the devastating truth that last year cancer waiting times were the worst on record in Wales with almost a 50/50 chance of people’s treatment starting on time. Behind these figures are thousands of lives that have been turned upside down and it’s simply not good enough. 

“We are especially concerned about the ongoing delays for patients with gynaecological and urological cancer as month after month these targets are being missed by a mile.

“The Welsh Government set out an ambition to treat 80 per cent of people with cancer on time by 2026, but this ambition looks increasingly impossible to achieve.

“Exhausted NHS staff are doing the best that they can, but they are working under unbearable pressures. There is only one way out of this mess and that’s through government action.

“The Welsh Government has said that cancer is a priority but now we need to see the commitments made in the Wales Cancer Improvement Plan come to life so that people with cancer get the timely and quality care they urgently need. The time for action is now.”


  • In December, 58% (930 out of 1,603) of pathways started their first definitive treatment within 62 days of first being suspected of cancer. This was 4.5 percentage points higher than the previous month and 2.7 percentage points higher than December 2022. However, it still means 673 people in Wales were left waiting too long in December 2023.
  • Overall performance for 2023 was 0.7 percentage points lower than 2022 making it the worst cancer waiting times performance on record in Wales. Across the whole of 2022 56.2% of people were treated within the 62 days target. In 2023 55.5% of people started treatment within the 62 days target time
  • At least 75% of patients should start treatment within 62 days (without suspensions) of first being suspected of cancer. Data published for time periods before December 2020 are not subject to the target.  
  • The Welsh Government’s planned care recovery plan established a new target of 80%, to be reached by 2026.  Those targets have never been met, with an interim recovery target that cancer diagnosis and treatment would be undertaken within 62 days for 70% of people by March 2023 also having been missed.
  • For some cancer types, performance remains even more concerning. For example, only 28.1% of people with gynaecological cancer, 39.7% of people with urological cancer and 45% of people with lower gastrointestinal cancer started their treatment on time in December 2023. 
  • Figures based on Suspected Cancer Pathways data from StatsWales, accessed 22 February 2024.

·       The latest NHS performance summary and data release covering November and December 2023 is available here: NHS activity and performance summary: November and December 2023 | GOV.WALES

Spread the love
Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *