Wales politics

Welsh Government 'still working towards' cancer key workers

Carwyn Jones
Image caption Carwyn Jones said he would write to Andrew RT Davies with a date

The First Minister says the Welsh Government is "still working towards" making sure all cancer patients have a key worker - seven years after the commitment was first announced.

Carwyn Jones was pressed to give a date when workers would be available to all patients in the Senedd chamber.

It comes after BBC Wales revealed accurate information about the number of workers was not available.

A Freedom of Information request found compiling the data is not mandatory.

The Welsh Government said in May 2010 that the NHS would provide key workers to help co-ordinate care by the end of March 2011.

At question time on Tuesday, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies called for a date when the pledge would be met.

"You made the commitment in 2010," he said.

"Public Health Wales just say one basic point - it's not mandatory to collect the data.

"How can you genuinely say that you know you're progressing in meeting this target?"

Image caption Andrew RT Davies called for a date when the pledge would be met

The First Minister said he would write to him with a date.

He said: "That is something we are still working towards to make sure that everyone has that key worker and he will see that the amount of money that has gone towards cancer treatment has increased over the years."

Mr Jones initially answered Mr Davies by attacking his leadership during the general election campaign.

The Tory leader accused him of taking "pot shots" and of being "flippant".

The First Minister said he had lost people close to him to cancer, adding: "Indeed I have seen my wife deal with cancer. It affects so many of us."

Mr Jones said key workers had been identified as a priority adding that work was underway to "develop a set of standards and associated measures to review the progress health boards and trusts are making in the provision of key workers".

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