Concern over cancer treatment waiting times in Hywel Dda - Mark Williams

Ceredigion's Welsh Liberal Democrat MP has expressed concerns over Hywel Dda's cancer treatment waiting times.

Concerns have been expressed following the publication of data from the Assembly which indicates that far from increasing the amount of urgent cancer patients seen within the 62 day target set by the Welsh Government, the rate in Hywel Dda has in fact declined.

Hywel Dda, along with two other health board in Wales (Cardiff and Vale and Betsi Cadwaladr) have their percentage of urgent cancer patients seen in the target time fall, and none of the health boards across Wales have met the 95% target for urgent cancer patients.  In fact, across Wales this target has not been met since 2008.

Commenting on these figures Mark Williams said;

“These statistics display the patchy implementation of the Welsh Labour Government Cancer Delivery Plan, and we in Ceredigion are unlucky enough to bear the brunt of these failings.  I hope the local Health Board and the Health Minister are as concerned as those of us in Ceredigion to hear this news, and is taking urgent action to improve the figures.”

The Hywel Dda Health Boards’ own Performance Assurance Report from 20th November 2014 referred to the specific challenge with the colorectal diagnostics pathway in Carmarthenshire, which they state ‘has been identified and is being address by the Scheduled Care Directorate.’ 

There is also explanation in the Report that, ‘Almost all breaches on the non-urgent suspected cancer pathway are attributed to the tertiary centres not treating patients referred to them on or before day 0 within 31 days of referral.’

Commenting on these points Mark Williams said, “If tertiary centres are failing to treat patients referred to them by specialists at Bronglais for example, then this suggest that the Health Board is not on top of our out of county referrals.  Also whilst there is reference to Carmarthen in terms of the colorectal pathway, there is no mention of how many local residents this would be effecting to if they have been referred from Bronglais to Glangwili.  Out of county referrals will happen more and more as the services at various Bronglais Departments are pared down, so this is worrying news.’


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