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Labour must 'get a grip' on treatment waiting times

Labour ministers have been accused of complacency as new figures show waiting times for cancer treatment in Wales have again failed to meet the Welsh government's target.

Labour’s cancer waiting time target has been missed every single month for over 70 months and there seems to be little evidence that Labour Ministers are making the effort to reach it anytime soon.

The complacency shown by Ministers is an insult to cancer patients and their families who deserve better in their time of need.

Labour Ministers must get a grip on these waiting times, reverse their record-breaking cuts to NHS finances and establish a Welsh Cancer treatments fund to end the postcode lottery in access to modern cancer drugs as soon as possible.

– Darren Millar AM, Shadow Minister for Health

Welsh Government determined to improve over treatment waiting times

The Welsh Government has responded after the release of the latest cancer treatment waiting times for Wales.

These latest figures show an improved performance during July against the 62-day cancer targets.

Over the last 12 months (August 2013 to July 2014), there has been a 18.5% increase in the number of patients diagnosed with cancer via the urgent suspected pathway who started treatment within 62 days compared to the previous 12 months (August 2012 to July 2013).

The figures also show 97.2% of patients diagnosed through the non-urgent route started treatment within 31 days.

We are determined to ensure every patient in Wales gets the best quality care they need and we are continuing to work closely with health boards to build on this improvement.

– Welsh Government spokesman

Study highlights 'perception gap' says alcohol trust

The need for education on the reality of underage drinking is highlighted by a recent study says Helena Conibear, Director of the Alcohol Education Trust.

These findings reveal the perception gap between parents' views of children's drinking and the reality. This emphasises the importance of education initiatives in ensuring parents, as the key suppliers of alcohol to those under the age of 18, are aware that drinking, particularly under the age of 15 is not the norm.

– Helena Conibear, Director, Alcohol Education Trust

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Call to help parents talk about alcohol with children

The President AB InBev UK & Ireland says findings that show parents overestimating the number of underage drinkers highlight the need for them to have support in talking to their children about alcohol.

Today's poll highlights the gulf between parents' perceptions of young people and how they actually behave towards alcohol. That's why it's so important that parents are given all the help they need to talk to their children about responsible drinking.

– Inge Plochaet, President, AB InBev UK & Ireland

Study: 39% of 11-15 year-olds have tried alcohol

There are fewer underage drinkers than parents think according to a new sudy Credit: PA

A study showing that parents in Wales are overestimating the number of 11-15 year-olds who think it's okay to get drunk has also found they're overestimating the number who've tried alcohol.

On average, parents in the UK think 57% of 11-15 year olds have tried alcohol. The actual figure is 39% of 11-15 year olds - but 7 in 10 parents thought it was higher.

Despite the underage drinking being in decline, today's poll reveals 70% of parents across the UK believe it has increased compared to five years ago.

ASH Wales: 'Investment needed to tackle illegal tobacco issue'

The findings suggest that a quarter of Welsh smokers buy illegal tobacco Credit: PA

The chief executive of ASH Wales says there needs to be more investment to tackle the rising amounts of illegal tobacco being sold in Wales.

A new campaign by the organisation shows that nearly half of all welsh smokers have been offered illegal tobacco.

It says Wales has one of the largest illegal tobacco markets, compared to regions in England.

It is shocking that Wales has such a large illegal tobacco market. There needs to be investment and a comprehensive strategy to tackle the issue.

The North East of England also had high sales of illegal tobacco but investment and a concerted campaign with several partners working together has brought the level down to 9% compared to 15% in 2009.

– Elen de Lacy, Chief Executive of ASH Wales

Half of smokers in Wales offered 'illegal tobacco'

Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Almost half of smokers in Wales have been offered illegal tobacco, according to research from campaign group ASH Wales.

A study into scale and extent of the illegal tobacco market in Wales found that 15 per cent of all tobacco sold here is illegal. The group says the findings suggest that a quarter of Welsh smokers buy illegal tobacco with almost 60 per cent of them buying at least once a month.

Wales has one of the largest illegal tobacco markets compared to each of the regions of England, the survey found.

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