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NHS cancer patients in Scotland have shorter hospital waiting times

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Figures from the NHS in Scotland have revealed cancer patients have shorter waiting times for hospital treatment.

However not every hospital in Scotland is coping with waiting times targets, the figures show.

Overall 94.6% of patients began their treatment within 62 days of being urgently referred from July to September last year, the highest proportion ever and just short of the 95% target set in 2000.

Scotland's health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said it was the best performance yet and shows there has been 'substantial progress' in cancer treatment times since 2007.

However, the waiting times target of 95% was supposed to have been reached in 2005 and only nine of 14 NHS boards across Scotland were able to meet the target between July and September.

In NHS Lothian 98.1% of all patients started treatment within 62 days, compared with 84.1% in NHS Dumfries and Galloway, the worst-performing mainland health board.

As well as regional variations, the time patients have to wait also depends on the type of cancer they are diagnosed with.

According to the figures 98.4% of breast cancer patients began their treatment within 62 days of urgent referral but just 84.4% of lymphoma patients began their treatment within the target time.

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