Macmillan Cancer Support has warned of a systemic failure on cancer care, as Wales registers its biggest monthly decline on cancer waiting times performance since April 2022.
The charity highlights how in September, only 52.9% of people with cancer were treated on time – leaving almost 1 in 2 people with cancer, and over 800 people during that once month alone, to face delays in what for some could be lifesaving treatment and care.
Macmillan warns that the current trajectory means Wales is not only moving ever further away from its existing national targets, but also the Welsh Government’s firm commitment to treating 80% of people with cancer on time by 2026.
The charity warns that such delays mean that people with cancer are being subjected to needless anxiety, and the fear that their condition will worsen as they wait for their treatment to begin.
Responding to the latest cancer treatment waiting times data, Glenn Page, Macmillan Policy Manager for Wales said: “Today’s figures show the biggest monthly decline in cancer waiting times performance since April 2022, which was the same month the Welsh Government published their plan to transform care and a promise to reduce waiting lists.
“Performance has declined in every region of Wales, and this systemic failure calls into question how the Welsh Government will achieve its commitment of treating 80% of people with cancer on time by 2026.
“The reality is that half of people with cancer in Wales experience delays in what for some could be life-saving care.
“The worry is that these figures will only worsen further in the coming months, as the additional pressures expected over the winter period begin to be felt, leaving more people to face anxious waits for the care they so desperately need.”