GPs should refer patients with suspected cancer to a consultant within 10 working days, the Welsh government has said.
The new target shortens the two week target for referral currently in force in England.
Health minister Mark Drakeford said if the NHS met this ‘interim milestone’ it would make hitting the overall target to treat cancer patients within 62 days more achievable.
Mr Drakeford said: ‘While the vast majority of urgent referrals are seen within the 62-day target, the NHS has struggled to meet the requirement to see 95% of all referrals within that time frame.
’Analysis of waiting times performance shows that if the first outpatient appointment takes place after 10 days, then the NHS is playing catch-up in terms of meeting the overall target.’
NHS Wales chief executive David Sissling will be writing to NHS organisations advising them to utilise this milestone as part of their approach to performance management.