Half of the Scotland’s health boards failed to meet cancer referral waiting times according to new figures released today.
The findings emerged in the Scottish government’s final quarterly report on cancer waiting times.
The report shows that NHS boards in Grampian, the Highlands, Orkney, Shetland, Fife, Ayrshire & Arran, Forth Valley, and Greater Glasgow & Clyde all failed to meet the 62 day standard which says 95% of patients referred for treatment must be treated within 62 days of referral.
NHS Highland and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde also failed to meet the other key target which says 95% of patients should receive cancer treatment within 31 days of the decision to treat.
The published figures show that only 93.5 percent of patients in July-September started treatment within 62 days of urgent referral compared to 92.9% for April-June.
The 31 days target was met with 96.7% of patients starting treatment within 31 days of the decision to treat, regardless of the route of referral. This compares to 96.3% in the period April –June 2014.
Scottish Liberal Democrats have said that sluggish improvements in performance against cancer waiting times targets mean that too many patients are still facing long waits to begin treatment within 62 days of urgent referral.
Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP said:
“These sluggish improvements in performance against cancer waiting times targets mean that too many patients are still facing long waits to begin treatment. 62 days is a long enough wait from urgent referral with suspicion of cancer.
“Health boards continue to face immense pressure on staffing and beds. The Health Secretary must provide assurances that her government is working with health boards to use every tool at their disposal and get a grip on performance.”