Waiting times for cancer patients continue to improve in Wales – with a key target met, new figures released today show.
The statistics show that 98.3% of patients (794 out of 808 people) referred via the non-urgent route, where cancer was not initially suspected, started treatment within 31 days of the decision to treat them, compared to 96.7% of patients in the previous month. The target is for 98% of patients referred via this route to start treatment within 31 days.
Meanwhile, more patients (88.6% or 534 out of 603 people) who were newly diagnosed via the Urgent Suspected Cancer route started treatment within the 62-day target time, a 1.8% percentage point increase compared to April and the best performance since November 2014.These figures show the highest number of people starting treatment in May within the target time for three years.
Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport, Vaughan Gething AM said:
“We are treating more people than ever for cancer in Wales and crucially, cancer survival rates continue to increase year-on-year. It’s encouraging that health boards are improving performance and ensuring that more people are starting treatment within the target times.
“In particular, I’m pleased to see that health boards have met the demanding 98% 31-day target and are improving against the 62-day target. In the last twelve months we have seen a 3.6% increase in the number of patients who started treatment within the 62-day target.
“We are seeing real improvements, not just against these targets for treatment times but in outcomes. More than half of people will now survive five years after their diagnosis and premature mortality for cancer has fallen around 14% in the past ten years. These statistics show we are seeing real improvements in treatment times for patients in Wales.”