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£4mn boost in cancer care in Scotland
Dean White - July 1, 2015

Health boards across Scotland are being given a £4.05 mn boost to help meet cancer waiting times, Health Secretary Shona Robison announced on 30th June 2015.

This comes as figures published today show that every NHS health board in Scotland has achieved the 95 per cent target standard of patients receiving treatment, within 31 days of the decision to treat being taken.

In total, 96.5 per cent of patients were seen within this timeframe for the quarter ending March 31.

The average length of time a patient in Scotland waits to start their cancer treatment is just six days, again from when a decision is made on what treatment is needed.

On average patients in Scotland start treatment within 38 days after urgent referral.

For the 62 day referral to treatment target, 91.8 per cent of patients were seen within the timeframe – slightly higher than for the same period last year.

The investment will help health boards to meet the 62 day cancer standard by building diagnostic and treatment capacity. All boards will receive funding towards improving waits, with further support for specific boards experiencing additional challenges.

The Scottish Government’s £30mn Detect Cancer Early programme continues to support early diagnosis and access to treatment.

Ms Robison said:

“As today’s figures show we are consistently reaching the demanding 31 day target for treatment, despite the fact that our NHS is treating more people than ever before and coping with the pressures of an aging population.

“Our cancer targets are rightly rigorous as patients deserve the best cancer care possible but there is no doubt that we must do more – especially on our 62 day target. While this has increased from 84.5 per cent in 2007, we remain fully committed to once again reaching our standard of 95 per cent.

“This is why today’s £4.05 mn funding, which comes on top of the £8.5 mn invested over the past three years to improve cancer services, is extremely important.

“This will help improve on diagnostic waits across the country, as well as provide local support through the recruitment of a new consultant in the West of Scotland and additional resource for endoscopy services.”