New figures for the quarter ending 30 September 2022 show that none of the health boards in the south of Scotland met the Scottish Government’s 62-day standard which states that 95% of eligible patients should wait a maximum of 62 days from urgent suspicion of cancer referral to first cancer treatment.

NHS Borders came closest with 93 per cent; in NHS Dumfries and Galloway the figure was 83 per cent; 75.7 per cent in NHS Ayrshire and Arran; 74 per cent in NHS Lothian and 79.5 per cent in NHS Lanarkshire.

The statistics also show that the maximum wait in the whole of Scotland was 326 days – recorded in NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “These figures are deeply worrying because we know that any delay in diagnosing cancer can have a huge impact on the success of treatment. The waiting time standard is there for a reason but none of our local health boards have been able to meet it this quarter, and this is despite our amazing NHS working flat out to deliver the care people need.

“The Scottish Government has ignored warning after warning about the pressure on NHS services and the impossible demands being placed on staff without the numbers of doctors and nurses they need, leaving us with a ticking timebomb of untreated cancer that will cost lives and overwhelm our NHS.

“We need a real cancer catch-up plan so that everyone can get the treatment they need, when they need it.”

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