Cancer Research Wales responds to Welsh Government news concerning the rollout of cancer Rapid Diagnostic Centres

Today (24th March 2022) Cancer Research Wales responded to recent Welsh Government news concerning latest waiting time figures and the ongoing rollout of cancer Rapid Diagnostic Centres 

Greg Pycroft, Cancer Research Wales’ Policy and Public Affairs Manager, commented: 

“We welcome the rollout of RDCs across Wales, they’re key to diagnosing more cancers. They help people access treatment earlier contributing to better patient outcomes.”  

“However, while the rollout of RDCs is welcome and significant numbers of people are being told they don’t have cancer, too many people across Wales are unable to access this positive development.” 

“This is either due to an RDC not being available in their Health Board, as is the case in Cardiff and Vale UHB and Powys THB or due to a person’s GP not being aware of the availability of an RDC if someone comes to them with vague symptoms that could be a sign of cancer.” 

“Cancer Research Wales urges Cardiff and Vale UHB to support the Wales Cancer Network’s objective of at least one RDC in each Health Board as soon as possible.  Residents across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan with vague cancer symptoms are unable to be referred to a service available to residents in all its neighbouring Health Boards, an unacceptable inequality.”  

“Residents in Cardiff and Vale UHB with vague cancer symptoms may have to make multiple journeys over many weeks at significant emotional and financial cost in order to receive a diagnosis. Referral to an RDC often leads to a diagnosis, or a person being told they don’t have cancer, following a day of tests and investigations.”   

“The geography and lack of a large general hospital in Powys makes the delivery of an RDC problematic. Cancer Research Wales is funding a study that will consider other ways the NHS can deliver an RDC service, we look forward to the findings and supporting the delivery of a service suited to rural Wales, one that might service the needs of other parts of the country”.    

“GPs are a critical part of the cancer pathway, identifying possible cancers for investigation.  We want to ensure that GPs have the skills and information to refer people to their local RDC if their vague symptoms are concerning.” 

“Cancer Research Wales is investigating the kinds of novel interventions GP practices want and need to reassure their patients and refer onto the correct clinic. Once shown to work the Welsh Government and NHS Wales need to ensure they reach GP practices across Wales and become part of their community facing toolkit.” 

“Individual people, how they feel and what they decide to do next are a really important part of diagnosing cancer earlier, too. People know their bodies, if something doesn’t feel right, that’s the time to seek help, speak to a GP and Get Checked.”