NHS Grampian miss cancer targets for 16th quarter in a row

NHS Grampian has not met target deadlines to start treatment for patients with an urgent referral since the beginning of 2013. 

Only 84.8% of cancer patients in NHS Grampian started treatment in under 62 days, well behind national target of 95%.


The Information Services Division published its latest round of cancer waiting times statistics today. Figures show that across Scotland the 62 day target has not been met for four years, and although some NHS boards have met the target in some quarters, NHS Grampian have consistently missed the target.


North East MSP Mike Rumbles said: “The failure to provide urgent treatment is utterly unacceptable. Three in twenty people are not being seen within an acceptable timeframe. That is hundreds of families whose loved ones’ lives are being put at risk, as well as being forced to deal with months of anxiety and frustration.


“Let me be clear. This is a matter of resources and management, not the fault of the extremely hard working staff in our hospitals. You do not have to be a doctor to know that early diagnosis and timely treatment save lives.


“Tackling cancer head on should be a priority for this SNP Government. It should not be seen as a secondary issue.


“The SNP have failed our NHS again and again. Ministers must ensure that NHS boards have the resources they need and are able to treat people in good time and with the dignity and diligence they deserve.”




Notes for editors:


Table 1a shows the maximum wait. The 62 Day Standard is that 95% of patients urgently referred with a suspicion of cancer will wait a maximum of 62 days from referral to first cancer treatment. However, just 87.5% of patients started treatment within the 62 day standard during October to December 2016.

  • The 31 Day Standard is that 95% of all patients will wait no more than 31 days from decision to treat to first cancer treatment. This target was missed too, with 94.1% of patients started treatment within the 31 day standard, a slight decrease from 94.3% in the previous quarter.
  • Macmillan are concerned and disappointed that these targets are routinely being missed by some way by NHS Grampian, as all of these statistics represent hundreds of people who are experiencing a very stressful time waiting for their cancer diagnosis and starting treatment. Macmillan Cancer provide the following table:



Period of treatment:

Percentage of cancer patients who began their treatment within 62 days of referral


1 October 2016 to December 2016


1 July to 30 September 2016


1 April to 30 June 2016


1 January to 31 March 2016



1 October to 31 December 2015


1 July to 30 September 2015


1 April to 30 June 2015


1 January – 31 March 2015



1 October – 31 December 2014


1 July – 30 September 2014


1 April – 30 June 2014


1 January – 31 March 2014



1 October – 31 December 2013


1 July – 30 September 2013


1 April – 30 June 2013


1 January – 31 March 2013

























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