NHS Lothian Cancer Waiting Times must see urgent improvement, says Briggs.

Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative & Unionist MSP for Lothian, is calling for the Scottish Government and NHS Lothian to set out what action it will take to improve waiting times for cancer treatment after new statistics indicated NHS Lothian was the worst performing mainland NHS Board in the whole of Scotland. Scottish Government figures published today showed that in October to December 2016 only 83.8% of Lothian patients with suspected cancer began treatment within 62 days, the lowest percentage of any mainland NHS Board. The Scottish Government’s target is for 95% of such patients to begin treatment within the 62 day period.

Speaking today Miles Briggs, who is also a Co-Convenor of the Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Cancer, said:

“ These statistics are a real cause for concern given the importance of early treatment after urgent referrals for patients with suspected cancer.

“ NHS Lothian is performing below the national average and way below the Scottish Government’s 95% national target, one that Ministers have missed for four years in a row now. NHS Lothian’s performance is also the worst in the South East Scotland Cancer Network (SCAN) area and compares badly with, for example, neighbouring NHS Borders which is exceeding the 95% national target.

“ The Scottish Government and NHS Lothian needs to set out urgently how it plans to improve its performance and ensure more Lothian patients are treated within the 62 day target. I will be raising this matter with NHS Lothian directly and with the Scottish Government through Parliamentary questions. Lothian cancer sufferers and their families will be looking for clear assurances that NHS Lothian has a plan to improve the situation without delay.”

Miles Briggs