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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

£10 million Allocated to Speed up Cancer Services

Cancer patients across North Ayrshire and Scotland can expect faster access to treatment after an additional £10 million has been allocated to help improve waiting times.

The new funding will boost the number of operations available, creating extra clinics, and upskilling new staff to speed up the delivery of endoscopy, radiology and chemotherapy treatment to get patients the care they need as quickly as possible.

This builds on the SNP Government’s £114.5 million National Cancer Plan, to support patients and deliver equal access to care across the country. This was put in place to ensure everyone can access the best standard of care, whatever their location or background.

The funding comes on top of the £10 million that was allocated to Health Boards last year to support the running of cancer services in the face of the pandemic.

There are two waiting time standards for cancer in Scotland. The 62-day standard is the time taken from receipt of urgent suspicion of cancer (USC) referral to start of first treatment for newly diagnosed primary cancers .

The 31-day standard is from the decision to treat to start of first treatment for newly diagnosed primary cancers, regardless of route of referral.

Kenneth Gibson MSP said:

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, NHS Scotland has consistently met the 31-day standard for starting cancer treatment with an average wait of four days once a decision to treat has been made. This speaks to the relentless efforts of our fantastic healthcare staff across NHS Ayrshire & Arran and further afield. However, we must to more to improve 62-day performance.

“Covid has not gone away and pressures remain, which is why the SNP Government is providing health boards with a £10 million cash boost to drive down waiting times so that cancer patients can receive the best care as early as possible.”

In June 2021, the SNP Government set up an Early Cancer Diagnostics Centre in NHS Ayrshire & Arran as one of the first in Scotland. Within existing NHS infrastructure, this enables GPs to refer patients with non-specific symptoms suspicious of cancer (such as fatigue, weight loss and nausea) onto a fast-track diagnostic pathway to get the care and treatment they need sooner.

The National Cancer Plan details how cancer services will be redesigned to benefit patients and increase resilience to future rises in COVID-19 prevalence.



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