Cancer charity warns that almost 1 in 2 people with cancer in Wales could face delays in their treatment
A leading cancer charity has warned that almost 50% of people with cancer in Wales will experience delays in receiving the life-saving treatment they require.
Data released today shows that in October only 52.2% of people with cancer started their treatment on time – leaving 810 people to face anxious delays.
According to Macmillan Cancer Support, for some types of cancer types, those delays are even more worrying, with only 33.7% of people with lower gastrointestinal, 36.1% of gynaecological and 37.2% of head and neck cancers being treated on time.
The charity is now calling for greater support for existing NHS staff who are working to treat more cancer patients than ever before.
Glenn Page, Policy Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales said: “Unfortunately, we are seeing out 2022 in the same way as we started it back in January, with a dire warning that delays in cancer care are worse than ever before.
“That warning has been repeated throughout a year in which the coronavirus crisis has quickly been overtaken by a crisis in cancer care itself.
“The direction of travel over the course of this year couldn’t be more wrong, with Wales moving ever further away from meeting its national cancer treatment targets.
“That direction of travel must be reversed in 2023, but that will only happen when hardworking NHS staff get the leadership they need, from both the UK and the Welsh Government.
“NHS staff are exhausted, and they need the Welsh Government to bring forward a national workforce plan for health and social care, so existing staff know support is on its way.
“We look forward to the Welsh Government bringing forward its Wales Cancer Services Action Plan in the new year – a plan shaped by people with cancer and those who care for them, and a plan that everyone involved in cancer care can rally behind.
“2023 must be the year in which the right funding and the right cancer care system is put in place to tackle worsening cancer treatment waiting times. Wales cannot continue its current trajectory and must begin to take some determined steps forward in making sure people receive life-saving cancer treatments on time.
If you need advice or information about cancer, you can call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 0000 or visit https://www.macmillan.org.uk
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