By Bill Heaney
Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie has demanded action after cancer wait times across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board soared.
The health authority failed to meet both the 31-day standard from date of decision to treat to first treatment and the 62-day target from urgent referral of suspicion of cancer to treatment.
Across Scotland, performance against the 62-day cancer waiting times target plummeted to the lowest point since records began, with just 76.3 percent of patients starting treatment within the target time.
Performance has dropped sharply since the pandemic – but the SNP have continually missed this vital target for 10 years.
Shockingly just over a quarter (26.1 percent) of patients suspected of having prostate cancer were treated within 62 days within the NHSGGC area, which includes West Dunbartonshire.
The outlook for female cancers in the area is also bleak with less than half of patients (47.6 percent) suspected of having ovarian cancer treated within the two-month target and just 60 percent of possible cervical cancer cases receiving treatment in the same time-frame. This had fallen from 100 percent, the level it had been at from June 2021.
Ms Baillie said: “Sadly, I have had constituents come to me who have lost loved ones because their cancer was not picked up early enough despite clear warning signs.
“This is the very stark reality behind these figures which are nothing short of catastrophic, but the SNP government are nowhere to be seen.
“Humza Yousaf’s dangerous incompetence has broken yet another grim record, despite the tireless efforts of dedicated NHS staff.
“The SNP have ignored warning after warning as services fell into chaos, leaving us with a ticking timebomb of untreated cancer that will cost lives and overwhelm our NHS, with figures within local health services among the worst in the country.
“The government cannot waste any more time delivering a real cancer catch-up plan we have needed all along, so that everyone can get the treatment they need, when they need it.”
The 62-day standard states that 95% of eligible patients should wait a maximum of 62 days from urgent suspicion of cancer referral to first cancer treatment.
- There were 4,072 eligible referrals for the 62-day standard, an increase of 5.5 percent from the previous quarter, an increase of 9.4 percent compared with quarter ending 31 December 2019.
- 76.3 percent of patients started treatment within the 62-day standard, compared with 76.9 percent in the previous quarter, 83.7 percent for quarter ending 31 December 2019.