Cancer services in Wales

Cancer Research UK wants to see improvements in cancer services throughout the UK. We commissioned the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow to explore the ‘state’ of cancer services in Wales.

The report of this research Where next for cancer services in Wales? shows cancer outcomes in Wales have improved in recent years: half of all people diagnosed with cancer live for five years after diagnosis. But outcomes could be better.

More people in Wales are being affected by cancer and services need to be able to respond to this increasing demand. Our projection suggests there will soon be more than 20,000 cancer cases each year in Wales.

Since 2012, cancer services in Wales have been guided by the Welsh Government’s Cancer Delivery Plan. This comes to an end in 2016 and a successor strategy is being developed. Our report calls on the Welsh Government to capitalise on this opportunity and ensure the new strategy sets out ambitious, clear goals for the coming years.

Our report identifies a number of recommendations which could improve the effectiveness of services and ensure the NHS can meet the needs of patients. These include:

  • The Welsh Government should conduct an urgent review of the access to diagnostic tests for GPs and ensure sufficient capacity;
  • Patients’ waiting times should be reported from the point at which cancer is suspected;
  • A national decision-making process for Individual Patient Funding Requests should be developed to improve consistency;
  • A national commissioning body for specialist treatments, including radiotherapy, would better plan and coordinate services;
  • The establishment of a national dataset for chemotherapy and radiotherapy activity would support ongoing evaluation.

For more information, or if you would like to discuss this research in more detail, please contact the Policy Department: 


Where next for cancer services in Wales? An evaluation of priorities to improve patient care

June 2016

Download the executive summary and recommendations in English
Download the executive summary and recommendations in Welsh
Download the full report

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