Cancer waiting times best ever

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Waiting times for cancer patients in Scotland are at their shortest ever according to figures released….

Waiting times for cancer patients in Scotland are at their shortest ever according to figures released by the Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland.

The publication covers the period for October – December 2009 and shows that 96.5% of reported urgently referred patients diagnosed with cancer in Scotland during┬áthat period┬ábegan treatment within 2 months (62 days). This is a small increase from 96.0% in the previous quarter and up from 93.6% in October-December 2007. The target set by the Scottish Government is 95%.

NHS Scotland also met the national target to treat 95% of urgently referred cancer patients within two months for the first time in the reporting period of October to December 2008, and this has continued through the period October-December 2009.

Commenting on the figures, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said:
“Today’s figures show Scotland’s NHS has achieved its best-ever urgent cancer referral waiting times. Staff up and down the country are providing these important services within record times, and I thank every single one of them.

“The NHS in Scotland has now exceeded its 95 per cent target for five consecutive quarters. The record-high figure of 96.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2009 is up 1.1 percentage points from the previous year and up 12 percentage points since the first quarter of 2007.

“We are now aiming even higher, with tougher new targets being introduced. From now on, we will measure the NHS’s performance against the ambitious new target of having 95 per cent of patients treated within 31 days of decision to treat. I know how hard staff have worked to achieve the current 62-day target and I am confident that they will maintain this progress in future.”