VITAL cancer treatments in Gwent were delivered within target times during January, according to new figures from the Welsh Government.

Performance against two key waiting times targets for cancer treatments was among the best in Wales.

And crucially, according to a report from Aneurin Bevan Health Board, it has complied with the Wales Cancer Standards for all types of cancer treatment that are within its direct control.

A minimum 95 per cent of patients diagnosed through a suspected cancer referral should begin treatment within 62 days, and at least 98 per cent of patients whose cancer is discovered as a result of treatment for another health problem should begin treatment within 31 days.

The latter is a target that, in recent years, has been delivered on in Gwent more consistently than in any other area of Wales, and the January performance was 98.9 per cent. Two patients out of 174 on the 31-day pathway waited longer to begin their treatment.

The relatively small monthly numbers of patients for individual health boards mean performance can be affected by a handful of target breaches, but the shorter timescale is an indication of the urgency of beginning treatment.

Also in Gwent in January, 95 per cent of patients on the suspected cancer referral pathway started their treatment inside 62 days (95 out of 100 patients).

The health board has, in recent months, made extra investment into speeding up diagnostics for cancers.