Single target to be set for cancer treatment in UK first

(Title Image: NHS Wales)

The Welsh Government will set a single target for patients to start cancer treatment in a UK first.

At the moment, patients are separated into urgent and non-urgent routes – patients with immediately confirmed cancer must start treatment within 62 days, while those with vague symptoms may face several months of tests before starting treatment.

The new system will set a single target whereby all patients suspected of having cancer must start treatment within 62 days. It’s due to be introduced from June 2019 and is supported with an additional £3million.

“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. It is reflective of our aspiration to support early diagnosis of cancer and ensure fast and effective treatment for all patients.


“The new way of measuring people’s waits for cancer treatment will improve quality and outcomes for our cancer patients and I am confident that it is the right approach for Wales.”
– Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething (Lab, Cardiff S. & Penarth)

The Welsh Government currently has a target of 95% of cancer patients starting treatment within 62 days and while Wales generally performs well compared to the rest of the UK, the target is still routinely missed.