MACMILlAN Cancer Support has warned of a cancer care system at breaking point, with over 780 people facing treatment delays in just one month.
The latest data shows that in July only 56.6% of people with cancer received their treatment on time – a figure which falls well short of both current national targets and the Welsh Government’s ambition of treating 80% of people in time by 2026.
The charity warns that Wales’ current target of treating 75% of people with cancer on time remains a target that has never been met – a fact which is leaving cancer patients to face devastating waits for potentially life-saving treatment.
Macmillan is now calling for urgent action to support both hard working NHS staff, and the people they care for – not least the need to fund and train more specialist cancer roles to help manage the growing demand for cancer care in Wales.
Responding to the latest cancer treatment waiting times data, Glenn Page, Macmillan Policy Manager for Wales said: “While any improvement in cancer treatment waiting times is welcome, the data still shows that in July, as in every other month over the last two years, the Welsh Government has failed to meet targets for treating people with cancer on time.
“The figures show a cancer care system that is unsustainable and at breaking point, with people living with cancer facing devastating delays and being let down by the very systems designed to support them.
“People recently diagnosed with cancer, and the tireless NHS staff who care for them, know all too well that cancer treatment is time critical.
“Both patients and exhausted NHS professionals will now quite rightly look towards the targets set by the Welsh Government and ask, ‘what are we waiting for?’ Urgent action must be taken to ensure people with cancer can get the timely, high-quality care they need.”