New figures show that the target for cancer patients to receive treatment within 62 days of referral has been missed again.

Only 83.3 per cent of patients were treated within 62 days in the last quarter – well below the 95 per cent target.

The statistics from ISD also revealed pressures at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, where only 80 per cent of cancer patients were treated within the 62 day target. With Greater Glasgow and Clyde being 1 of 2 boards in Scotland to miss the 31 day treatment target following a decision to treat, the other being NHS Lothian.

Jackie Baillie MSP said the figures were a major cause for concern and further evidence of the need for more investment in the NHS workforce.

The latest statistics follow a report from the Cross Party Group on Cancer this year which found that staff shortages were having a detrimental impact on cancer diagnosis rates.

Local MSP Jackie Baillie said:

“Early detection and treatment are crucial to chances of survival, and it’s really concerning that the treatment waiting time target continues to be missed.

“I support a two-week waiting time for cancer diagnosis to raise survival rates, and to prevent thousands of people enduring a worrying wait to begin treatment.”

“There is also a worrying variation across health boards in Scotland, with 1 in 5 cancer patients in Greater Glasgow and Clyde having to wait longer than the two-month target.

“It isn’t good enough, it’s clear that Greater Glasgow and Clyde along with the rest of the NHS in Scotland are suffering a workforce crisis. The stats even say that staffing shortages in the colorectal and urology services have impacted its performance”.

“The Health Secretary must set out in detail how she will urgently increase capacity in cancer detection and treatment to deliver the care that people need.”


Cancer Waiting Times:1 June 2019 to 30 September 2019

 The 62-day standard states that 95% of eligible patients will wait a maximum of 62 days from referral to first cancer treatment.

  • 80% of patients in Greater Glasgow and Clyde started treatment within the 62-day standard.


  • The 62-day standard was met by two NHS Boards: NHS Lanarkshire, and NHS Tayside.


The 31-day standard states that 95% of all patients will wait no more than 31 days from decision to treat to first cancer treatment.

  • 94.3% of patients in Greater Glasgow and Clyde started treatment within the 31-day standard, compared with 94.7% in same period last year for quarter ending September 2018.


  • The 31-day standard was met by 12 NHS Boards and Golden Jubilee National Hospital. In addition to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde not meeting the standard, only other board which failed to meet it was NHS Lothians.

Data available from ISD:

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