Hywel Dda Health Board has the worst cancer waiting times in Wales

By Paul Evans   |   Content editor   |
Thursday 23rd June 2022 4:04 pm
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According to the latest stats published today (June 23) by Wales’ NHS, the Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB) has the worst cancer waiting times in all of Wales.

48.0% of cancer patients in the Hywel Dda region started their first definitive treatment for the disease, within the 62-day-target – in comparison to 68.6% of patients in April 2021.

Other Health Boards fair slightly better, with Betsi Cadwaladr UHB seeing 68.2% of patients starting treatment within 62 days of cancer first being suspected.

Although, no single Health Board in Wales has met the Welsh Government’s 75% target.

Speaking about the increase in cancer waiting times, local Senedd Member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, Samuel Kurtz MS, said: “This is a seriously concerning development – it’s clear to me that robust and urgent action must be at the forefront of Hywel Dda’s strategy to combat this substantial rise in cancer waiting times.

“Access to cancer treatment is vital; the sooner it’s identified, the sooner it can be successfully treated. That’s why it’s pivotal we get to grips with this situation.

“Our fantastic NHS staff are working around the clock, the Welsh Government ought to step up and publish an urgent cancer strategy which sets out how our hospitals can clamp down on these treatment pressures – something which we Welsh Conservatives have been calling for.”

Plaid Cymru politicians have also expressed concern as the latest NHS waiting figures released this week which shows that health service in Pembrokeshire remains under immense pressure.

Across the Hywel Dda University Health Board, a total of 87,277 people were on waiting lists – an increase of almost on figures for February 2022.

The number of patients within the Hywel Dda Health Board area waiting longer than 36 weeks for treatment had increased slightly since the start of the year – now 31,364 compared to 31,207 in January.

Responding to the figures, Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales said: “These latest waiting list figures are clearly a cause of great concern and show that the NHS in Pembrokeshire remains under great pressure.

“It’s increasingly easy for us to become desensitized by figures and forget that each one of these numbers represents an individual often facing significant pain or discomfort day-to-day.

“It’s vital that the Welsh Labour Government step up their efforts to support those needing medical attention and provide our hard-working NHS staff with greater support and resources.”

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for health and care, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS added: “These latest figures show that NHS Wales remains in gridlock – and this has a knock-on effect throughout the whole health and care system.

“When demand exceeds capacity, it impacts everything from the speed that GPs can get referrals on to secondary care, to patient flow through from hospitals to social care settings.

“Clearly, we need to see action taken now to increase capacity and to improve patient flow so we can deal with the current situation, a crisis that existed pre-Covid. But we have got to make things sustainable for the long term, and that has to include a dramatic change in attitudes – and Government funding – towards preventative health measures.

“When it comes to decreasing pressure on our health and care service, Wales needs a prevention revolution.”

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