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Cancer: Urgent action needed amid NHS pressures, warns charity

The Covid-19 pandemic cannot continue being blamed for poor cancer care, a charity boss has said.

Judi Rhys, of Tenovus Cancer Care, said urgent action was needed to save lives when more people than ever are living with cancer in Wales.

It comes as the Wales Cancer Network publishes a three-year plan to improve cancer outcomes and patient experience.

But the group's clinical director warned the immediate priority would be maintaining current services.

Prof Tom Crosby, clinical director for Wales Cancer Network, which was tasked by Wales' health minister to draw up the improvement plan, said the biggest pinch point at the moment was access to diagnostics.

"We're absolutely trying to shorten overall times for patients coming into the system being diagnosed and then being treated," he said.

On average in November, people suspected of having cancer had to wait 17 days for a first appointment and 23 days for a first test.

It was an average 31 days from point of suspicion to being told if they had cancer or not and an average 24 days from point of diagnosis to treatment starting.

"We hope that this year we will develop the first regional diagnostic centre and that is likely to be in south-east Wales," Prof Crosby said.

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Source: BBC News, 31 January 2023


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