Deeply concerning waiting time figures for cancer patients

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, described today's waiting time figures for cancer patients as "deeply concerning".

Across Scotland, only 86.9 per cent of patients started treatment within 62 days between April and June this year, missing the Scottish Government target of 95 per cent, and down from 88.1 per cent the previous quarter.

Only three NHS boards met the target: Dumfries & Galloway, Lanarkshire and Orkney.

Only one of the ten cancer types successfully met the 95 per cent standard: breast cancer.

Alison said:

"Performance on these targets has continued to drop since 2013. We clearly need stronger action from the Scottish Government to make treatment more accessible.

"It's deeply concerning that waiting times are particularly poor for some types of cancer, including cervical, colorectal and urological, and it is shocking that only three NHS Boards are meeting the 62-day standard.

"We also need to see a focus on supporting patients in the most deprived areas of Scotland, who are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at a later stage of illness. Addressing this inequality has to be a priority."