Cole-Hamilton: Cancer wait time performance “scandalous”

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has branded current waits for cancer treatment a “scandal”, as new statistics show quarterly performance against the 62 day target is at its worst since the standard was introduced in 2012.

The statistics published by ISD Scotland today show that only 81.4% of patients were seen within the 62-day waiting time target for the quarter 1 January to 31 March 2019. That’s down from 82.7% in the previous quarter and 85% for the quarter ending March 2018.

Just three out of 14 NHS boards managed to meet the standard.

Mr Cole-Hamilton commented:

“The Scottish Government’s record on cancer waits is a national scandal. When people get diagnosed with cancer it’s a distressing time for them, and those close to them. You’d expect on the spot action but these statistics show that expectation is far from reality.

“No one should be forced to endure such a prolonged period of anxiety and long waits could jeopardise patients’ chance of recovery.

“The Scottish Government set out its plan to meet this target 8 months ago, but since then performance has got worse and worse. Ministers have a responsibility to properly resource the NHS, both in terms of funding and staff.”

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