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Rapid diagnostic centre helps reduce waiting times for cancer patients by up to 92%

Macmillan Wales has welcomed a new report which demonstrates how new rapid diagnostic centres can help improve cancer care in Wales.

Not only does the report show that a rapid diagnostic centre based in Neath Port Talbot Hospital has helped reduce waiting times for patients by up to 92%, it also suggests the approach could become more cost effective than current practice.

Richard Pugh, Head of Services for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, said: “This report shows that rapid diagnostic centres have very real potential for not only improving care for cancer patients in Wales, but also relieving some of the huge financial pressures being felt by our NHS.

“Macmillan Wales is very proud to have invested over £95k into this service over the last few years – an investment that was only made possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

“Before the Rapid Diagnostic Centre, people with non-specific symptoms could find themselves bouncing around the system for up to 80 or 90 days – this has now been slashed to as little as six.

“Days have become hours, and months have become days through the new service, and we are very proud that the support of a Macmillan GP and a Macmillan Cancer Nurse Specialist has contributed to the centre’s success.

“Patients now leave the clinic with a diagnosis, a plan of what’s happening next and a point of contact.  We know just how much of a relief this can be for anyone affected by cancer.

“In the long-term, this will not only improve outcomes by making sure cancer is diagnosed and treated far more quickly, it will help reduce the fear and anxiety that is felt by anyone facing a long wait to find out what is making them ill.”

For support, information or if you have any questions, call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk.

The evaluation is published in the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP).