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Thursday 24th May 2018

Cancer hit squads sent in

29th November 2006

Hit squads are being sent into hospitals that failed to reach waiting time targets for cancer treatment.

Around one in five patients in Scotland were not seen within two months of being urgently referred by their GP – and some faced waits of almost a year. This is far below the government target of 95 per cent. Now cancer performance teams are moving in to help hospitals improve.

Figures show waits across the country varied, with some waiting more than 11 months for treatment. At the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, one patient waited 331 days for a urology appointment, typically for cancer of the bladder or prostate.

Elsewhere in Scotland the figures get worse – more than a third of patients in Forth Valley were not treated within two months, while more than a quarter of patients in the Highlands missing the eight-week target.

The different health boards across Scotland will now have to work with the cancer performance team. The squad is expected to track cancer patients through the system to ensure they go through the minimum NHS bureaucracy.

The cancer performance teams were set up last year by health minister Andy Kerr in response to the target.

Each year 26,000 people are diagnosed with cancer across Scotland.

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