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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-12319: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 6 November 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that the national performance standard target for cancer treatment to begin within 62 weeks of referral is not being met on a regular basis, and when it expects to achieve this on a sustained basis.

Answered by: Shona Robison 20 November 2017

The national performance standard for cancer is 95 per cent of patients referred urgently with a suspicion of cancer are to begin treatment within 62 days of receipt of referral.

We know further work is needed to shorten waits for diagnostics and in September 2017 we formed a Ministerial Cancer Performance Delivery Group to drive forward service redesign and improvement, backed by £1 million investment on top of
£4.85 million already allocated to boards.

Among a series of actions the group will audit processes for managing patients with a suspected cancer, implement new scrutiny and monitoring processes for health boards struggling to meet the 62 day standard, and invest in the roll-out of new technology to assist with pressures on diagnostic services.