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26/09/17 10:46

Improving cancer diagnosis and treatment

Health Secretary to chair clinical delivery group.

A new delivery group will drive forward improvements in waiting times for diagnosis and treatment for cancer patients in Scotland.

Health Secretary Shona Robison will chair the group, which will include clinicians, cancer coalition representatives, and staff from NHS Boards who are leading best practice.

£1 million of new funding will support the group’s efforts to improve diagnostic performance across the country.

Their initial focus will be on accelerating the roll-out of innovative early cancer detection measures, including qFit testing, to enable faster early diagnosis and ensure boards can work more effectively together to use of the latest technology available across the country.

Alongside this, the Cabinet Secretary has also announced an additional £3 million to increase the number of radiology trainees in Scotland by at least fifty over the next five years.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

“While it is encouraging that figures in a report released today show that 94% of cancer patients in Scotland had a positive experience during their treatment and care, I’m determined to go further. Today I’m setting out a number of steps to help realise this.

“I am establishing a short-life working group to drive forward improvements, starting with the diagnostic phase and making recommendation on the expansion of the innovative qFit programme.

“Additional funding of £1 million will be deployed to roll-out new technology which would allow consultants to report on diagnostic scans taken anywhere in the country – helping address short-falls in capacity in some areas. This new investment comes in addition to the on-going Cancer Strategy.

“I am also pleased to announce £3 million will be invested to increase the number of additional radiology trainees by at least fifty over the next five years.

“Once a decision to treat has been made, the average wait for cancer treatment is 6 days currently. However, some waits are too long and the new delivery group will report back to me in early 2018 with recommendations to enhance cancer diagnosis and treatment going forward.”

Background

The first meeting of the new Clinical delivery group will take place in early October.

Cancer Waiting Time statistics show 94.8% of patients waited no more than 31 days once a decision is made to treat, and 86.9% of patient urgently referred with a suspicion of cancer were seen within the 62 day standard.

The 2015-16 Scottish Cancer Patient Experience Survey can be found at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/09/6521

More information on qFit testing can be found at: https://news.gov.scot/news/bowel-test-pilot-to-enhance-early-detection-of-cancer