Local Senedd Members, Paul Davies and Samuel Kurtz, have expressed their concerns about the latest publication of West Wales’ cancer waiting time stats.
Hywel Dda University Health Board’s August 2022 cancer waiting times show that less than 50% of patients start their first cancer treatment within 62 days of being suspected of having cancer.
49.8% of patients started treatment within the target (62 days from point of suspicion), compared to 63.9% in August 2021.
This is well below the Suspected Cancer Pathway performance target, which aims for 75% of patients to start treatment within 62 days of first suspecting cancer.
Speaking about the data, Senedd Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire, Paul Davies MS said:
“Cancer is something that affects every one of us either directly or indirectly and it’s deeply worrying to see that less than 50% of patients in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area start their first cancer treatment within 62 days.
“Delays and longer waits can result in poorer health, worse outcomes as well as causing a huge amount of anxiety and stress for patients.
“This winter we’ll inevitably see even more pressure on the NHS and so urgent action must be taken now to address these figures and ensure that more and more people in west Wales are treated quicker.
In addition, Samuel Kurtz MS Senedd Member for Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire added:
“The key to fighting cancer is effective and immediate intervention. If any patient is not seen within the allotted NHS cancer waiting time target, then lives are being needlessly put at risk.
“We need Hywel Dda University Health Board and the Welsh Government to grip this situation and ensure that diagnosis, treatment, and care is being administered early and regularly.
“These statistics do not make for easy reading, but we must make certain that waiting times improve.”