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Sunday 24th June 2018

Cancer waiting time target on track

17th February 2009

New statistics have shown the health service is approaching its target of giving treatment to cancer patients with urgent cases within 62 days.


The original time limit was put in place nine years ago and says that 95% of patients should start their treatment within two months of referral. This target was meant to be reached by 2005.

The figures from July to September in 2008 showed that 94.6% of patients received treatment within the target time.

Of the 14 NHS boards in Scotland, nine reached this target for July to September 2008. The highest scoring major board was NHS Lothian, which saw 98.1% of patients start their treatment within 62 days.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "It is very welcome to see that the majority of patients diagnosed with cancer, who were urgently referred, are rightly starting their treatment within two months."

She said that every board in Scotland needed to meet the target and added that boards were working on the challenge and as a result have made "substantial progress" in the last two years.

"In many areas, boards are performing over and above the 95% target and I am hopeful that the advances made to meet the target for breast, lung, ovarian and urology cancers will be extended to all cancers before long."

Five boards across Scotland did not reach the target. Dumfries and Galloway had the lowest result, where only 84.1% of patients were seen within 62 days.

The Scottish Government has said that by 2011 every patient with a cancer diagnosis should be given treatment within 31 days.


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