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Thu 17 Nov 2022

Latest Statement on Cancer Waiting Times

Judi Rhys, MBE, Chief Executive of Tenovus Cancer Care said:


“Yet again, every health board in Wales has failed to meet its targets for cancer waiting times. By September this year, 6,496 people have had to wait more than 62 days from the first point of suspicion to starting their first treatment. 

Backlogs in diagnostic tests have contributed to more people waiting longer now than they were during the whole of 2020, at the height of the pandemic. As we head into the winter the window for improvement period is closing.

As the NHS focus shifts to tackling and minimising an expected upsurge in covid as well as more conventional winter and workforce pressures. Unless there is serious, concerted regional action from the Welsh Government and health boards the situation for people with cancer will continue to worsen throughout the winter period.

We know that not only does long waiting times increase the risk of cancers becoming more dangerous, but they also have a long-term effect on peoples’ mental health and wellbeing. Uncertainty and anxiety are amongst the most common issues associated with cancer diagnoses, and delays exacerbate these problems.

Although our health services are under great strain, waiting times need to be prioritised and urgently addressed. We know from members of our All-Wales Cancer Community and users of Tenovus Cancer Care’s services, that there is frustration and anger from people affected by cancer concerning the delays.”

If you or someone you love has been affected by cancer, our free Support Line is there for you. Just call 0808 808 1010