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Cancer patients face increasing delays as demand for treatment grows in Wales

(Adobe Stock)

Macmillan Cancer Support is warning that an increasing number of cancer patients are facing anxious delays as demand for treatment grows in Wales.

The latest data released today for July shows that of the 1,600 people who started their cancer treatment, only 988 did so within the national target of 62 days.

With well over a third of cancer patients facing delays – meaning 612 people with cancer were left to face anxious waits during one month alone – the charity is calling for urgent action to ensure people can get the urgent treatment they need.

Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales said: “This latest data shows that as demand for treatment is beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels the cancer care system is struggling to cope – people are simply not getting vital cancer treatments in time.

“No-one should underestimate what the NHS has gone through during this pandemic, but all the warning signs are there that even more pressure is to follow.

“Only today we have heard how much pressure our GP workforce is under. The numbers of people and the length of time it is taking to get diagnostic tests are ever increasing.  Our own recent research showed that Wales needs to see an 80% increase in the number of specialist cancer nurses by the end of the decade alone.

“All of this reveals growing bottle-necks in an under-pressure system which risks not only people failing to get the early diagnosis and timely treatment they so desperately need, but also seeing their longer-term care suffer as a result as well.

“That is why Wales desperately needs a detailed plan for managing our cancer care services out of this crisis – one that prioritises funding and training for Wales’ cancer workforce, to ensure the growing number of people with cancer in Wales get the timely treatment and personalised care they need.”

“If anyone is worried and needs advice, information or a chat you can call Macmillan for free on 0808 808 0000.”