This is an article for the Glamorgan Gazette and the South Wales Evening Post
New statistics show that Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board has yet again missed its target for patients diagnosed with cancer.
The Welsh Government’s target is for at least 95% of patients diagnosed with cancer via the urgent route to start their definitive treatment within 62 days of their referral. Yet locally only 71.9% of patients were seen within that time in October, down from 83.5% in the previous month.
Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board continues to have the worst figures, with just 62.9% of urgent route patients being seen within 62 days.
The all-Wales target of 95% of urgent patients beginning treatment within 62 days has not been met once since 2008.
Questions have to be asked as to what priority is being given to meeting this target by ABMU Health Board. Despite all the hard work of NHS staff, patients are being asked to wait longer than they should be at a very stressful and worrying time for them and their families.
ABMU has not just missed the target but they have done so consistently for some considerable time. That is also true of the NHS in Wales. It can only be a matter of time before the Welsh Labour Government simply change the target as they did with ambulance waiting times, so that they can pretend that everything is fine.
Patients, their families and dedicated staff are being let down by the failure of the health board and the Welsh Labour Government to get this right.
For too long patients’ views have been side-lined. Wales needs an NHS that puts patients first, and that’s what the Welsh Liberal Democrats will deliver. We’ll put patients’ views front and centre to create an NHS that Wales deserves.