1. ITV Report

New 'streamlined' cancer pathway to reduce waiting times

Credit: PA

A new 'streamlined' cancer pathway for patients has been introduced in a bid to reduce waiting times.

Single Suspected Cancer Pathway is aiming to improve quality and outcomes for cancer patients in Wales.

It will start from the point a patient is suspected of having cancer, rather than when the cancer is confirmed, as is currently the case for some cancer patients. It is intended that treatment should start no later than 62 days from the point of suspicion.

Implementation of the new single cancer pathway will be supported with a £3m investment from the Welsh Government from the next financial year.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said:

The NHS in Wales is consistently treating more cancer patients than ever before. We are seeing and treating more patients than ever before. However, we can’t get away from the fact we have not met the targets often enough but we must also recognise that around 92% of people with cancer are being treated within target time across both pathways. We want to ensure that anyone who experiences cancer in Wales has access to timely and appropriate treatment that will deliver the best possible outcome. Proposals for the single cancer pathway have been clinically led and have wide support across the clinical community. Through dual reporting of the single cancer pathway, Wales will be the first UK nation to move towards a single waiting time measure for cancer.

– Vaughan Gething, Health Secretary

Cancer has become the single biggest cause of premature death in Wales and the UK.

Cancer Research UK say early diagnosis is key in providing successful treatment:

Patients diagnosed at the earliest stages of cancer are more likely to have successful treatment. For the new Single Cancer Pathway to achieve its full potential it has to be used to inform how we improve cancer diagnosis in Wales, including making sure we have the right workforce in place.

– Andy Glyde, Cancer Research UK