Detect cancer early programme paying off

The latest statistics on cancer waiting times have demonstrated that NHS Scotland is consistently performing well against the rigorous targets the Scottish Government has set.

In the first three months of 2012, 97.9% of patients started treatment within the target 31 days of the decision to treat, with half of those patients in fact starting treatment within just six days. During the same period, 94.8% of patients started treatment within 62 days of referral following cancer being suspected.

All patients that were referred by the cervical screening programme were seen within 62 days while the same was true for 99.7% of patients referred by the breast screening programme.

The Scottish Government’s Detect Cancer Early programme has seen £30 million invested in ensuring cancer patients in Scotland receive the best treatment possible in the shortest time possible.

Commenting SNP MSP Fiona McLeod, who sits on the Health and Sport Committee, said:

"These latest statistics show that having met our ambitious targets in December last year, the NHS in Scotland is maintaining their excellent level of care for cancer patients.

"The quicker somebody can begin treatment following the detection of cancer, the better. It can have a dramatic impact on how effective their treatment will be as well as reducing the already significant stress they suffer.

“That is why the fact that 97.9% of patients are treated within 31 days of a decision to treat is so important. Half of that number actually started treatment in just six days, which is even more remarkable and is testament to the outstanding efforts of NHS staff in Scotland.

"Our £30 million Detect Cancer Early programme is clearly paying dividends, which is good news for patients across Scotland.

"These figures are a testament to what can be achieved by an NHS in public hands. Our NHS is safe and successful in Scottish hands and the SNP are utterly determined not to follow the ill-considered privatisation agenda being pursued south of the border."