Cancer waits remain ‘unacceptably long’

Urgent cancer waiting time targets were missed yet again in January – according to latest government statistics.

 

Figures published today reveal 90.6 per cent of patients newly diagnosed via the ‘Urgent Suspected Cancer’ route started definitive treatment within the target time of 62 days.

 

The target is 95 per cent. It has not been met since 2008.

 

Last year Labour’s First Minister made a commitment in the National Assembly that figures for March 2013 would show the target had been met. After Welsh Conservatives revealed that promise had been broken, it was reported that a Welsh Government spokesman claimed the target would then be met by October last year. This commitment was also broken.

 

Today’s published delays follow consistent calls for a Keogh-style NHS public inquiry from Welsh Conservatives – and question marks over standards of care raised in this week’s First Minister’s Questions.

 

 

Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister, Darren Millar AM, said:

 

“These delays remain unacceptably long and previous Labour commitments lie in tatters.

 

“There is an extremely serious problem at the heart of waits for cancer treatment and it isn’t being dealt with swiftly enough.

 

“Any improvements are welcome – but Welsh patients deserve better.

 

“Labour’s record-breaking NHS cuts have heaped enormous pressure on frontline staff.

 

“While Carwyn Jones and Welsh Labour continue to slam Ann Clwyd for her very real concerns, patients continue to suffer.

 

“A Keogh-style public inquiry would identify problems, address any concerns, and help to safeguard our NHS for the future.”