Every health board in Wales has produced a 100-day plan to improve cancer services and waiting times, Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething announced today.
The plans were unveiled today by the Deputy Minister as the most the most recent cancer waiting times are published.
The figures for October 2015 show more than eight out of 10 people referred with suspected cancer start treatment within the 62-day target time, while nearly 97% of patients referred via the 31-day pathway start treatment within the target time.
To further improve services, health boards have prioritised a number of improvements within their 100-day plans, including:
- Focus on delivering the first outpatient appointment within 10 working days;
- Complete diagnosis and agree the decision to treat within 31 days;
- Prioritise patients referred for cancer treatment from unscheduled care services;
- Fill staff vacancies;
- Improve access to diagnostic services.
Vaughan Gething said:
“More people in Wales are surviving cancer than ever before, thanks to earlier detection and the care provided by the Welsh NHS. As a Welsh Government, we are also spending more than ever – more than £380m this year – on cancer services. This helps ensure people with cancer get the best quality care they need.
“But we know there are areas we need to improve and some health boards, in particular, need to work hard to improve their cancer waiting times performance. I want to ensure more people receive a quicker diagnosis and start treatment within the target times we have set.
“I have met all the health boards to discuss how the Welsh NHS can improve its performance in this area and asked them to produce 100-day action plans aimed at improving local services and encouraging them to work collaboratively at a regional level.
“I expect the NHS to implement these plans immediately so patients and the public sees an improvement in performance in the months ahead.”
Kamal Asaad, Medical Director at Cwm Taf University Health Board said: “We have increased our Radiology capacity to diagnose cancer patients more quickly. In addition, we have introduced a ‘one stop clinic’ for patients with suspected gynaecological cancer referrals, so they have their investigation tests and see their Consultant in one visit.”
“We also continue to work closely with our tertiary care providers to ensure our patients who need specialist treatment are cared for as quickly as possible.”