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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-20485: Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 10 December 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the call by Pancreatic Cancer UK for people with the condition to begin treatment within 20 days of diagnosis.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 7 January 2019

The Scottish Government has no immediate plans to introduce a differential target for pancreatic cancers. In Scotland there are 2 cancer waiting times standards these are:

  • a 31-day target from decision to treat until first treatment for all new cancers
  • a 62-day target from urgent referral with suspicion of cancer, including referrals from national cancer screening programmes, and direct to A&E until first treatment.

Cancer waiting times performance statistics are published quarterly by ISD. There is a 5% tolerance on each of the standards.

Pancreatic cancer waiting times are not individually collected. Data on their parent group (Upper Gastrointestinal cancers) published for July - Sept 2018 indicates that:

  • 97.7% of patients received treatment within 62 days of urgent referral with a median wait of 30 days.
  • 99.3% of patients received treatment (regardless of route of referral) within 31 days of decision to treat with a median wait of 1 day.

A Clinical Review of Cancer Waiting Times was completed in May this year, with recommendations to improve waiting times for the diagnosis and treatment of those people with cancer in Scotland. These recommendations will be taken forward with advice from an Implementation Group.