Scotland

Scottish NHS boards miss cancer waiting target

Nurse holding patients hand Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The health secretary said the Scottish government was committed to publishing a new cancer strategy by spring 2016

Ten of Scotland's health boards have missed a target for treating cancer patients within 62 days of referral.

In the period from July to September, four boards hit the standard for getting at least 95% of suspected patients their first treatment within that time limit.

The national picture showed nine out of 10 patients (90%) started treatment within the 62 days.

This was a reduction on 92.1% in the previous quarter.

In the latest quarter, NHS Grampian, Highland, Orkney, Shetland, Tayside, Western Isles, Fife, Lothian, Ayrshire and Arran and Greater Glasgow and Clyde fell below the standard.

A second standard to ensure 95% of all patients wait a maximum 31 days from decision to treat to their first treatment was reached.

At 95.2%, it was a fall on the previous three months when it was 96.3%.

New strategy

Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "It is vital that we treat cancer as quickly as possible and that's why we have set rigorous standards in this area.

"I am pleased to see that the 31-day standard continues to be met and that the average wait is only seven days once a decision has been made to treat.

"Over the last few years, cancer services have developed and improved significantly with more doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals and state-of-the-art equipment in all five of Scotland's cancer centres.

"Overall cancer death rates have dropped by 11% over the past 10 years and the overall cancer mortality rate for 2014 is the lowest over the past decade."

Ms Robison said the Scottish government was committed to publishing a new cancer strategy by spring 2016, which will include further investment in cancer services.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites