Marlyn Glen MSP

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Scottish Labour MSP for North East Scotland

Cancer waiting times : MSP asks Health Secretary about NHS Tayside’s resources

28 May 2010

Marlyn Glen is asking Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon what extra resources NHS Tayside will receive from the Scottish Government to ensure that by the end of next year, 2011, all patients diagnosed with cancer, regardless of the route of referral, should receive treatment within 31 days from the clinical decision to treat.

Ms. Glen said that cancer patients in England already have the 31 day guarantee, and she is asking the Health Secretary what lessons can be learned from England that would benefit NHS Tayside and Scotland.

Ms. Glen’s query on resources for cancer treatment in NHS Tayside come at a time when answers to Parliamentary her Parliamentary questions show that there has been some improvement in survival rates from common cancers in Tayside over the past decade.

In the period 1996-2007, the survival rate for breast cancer patients in Tayside after 1 year rose from 90 per cent to 93 per cent.

In the period 1996-2003, after 5 years the survival rate rose from 67 to 70 per cent.

In the period 1996-2007, the survival rate for prostate cancer patients in Tayside after 1 year rose from 82 per cent to 88 per cent.

In the period 1996-2003, after 5 years the survival rate rose from 45 to 54 per cent.

In the period 1996-2007, the survival rate for colorectal cancer patients in Tayside after 1 year rose from 68 per cent to 75 per cent amongst men and from 63 to 68 per cent amongst women.

In the period 1996-2003, after 5 years the survival rate rose from 36 to 44 per cent amongst men, and from 34 to 39 per cent amongst women.

Ms Glen said,

” Early detection and speedier access to therapy will help counter the anxiety and distress that a cancer diagnosis can bring.

” I am asking her the Health Secretary what additional resources such as the number of clinical staff have NHS Tayside indicated that they may need to meet the target, and if these will be provided.”

Ms. Glen added that since devolution the health services in Scotland and England had set out their own priorities.

In Scotland , she said, emphasis had been given to cutting deaths from cancer and heart disease while in England reductions in waiting times for hospital treatment was a major objective.

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