Another cancer target missed

I've criticised the Scottish Government for missing another cancer target after new statistics show it has failed to meet its target to detect cancer earlier.

In February 2012 Nicola Sturgeon launched the Detect Cancer Early programme, aiming to increase the proportion of people diagnosed early in the disease process (at stage 1) by 25% by the end of 2015. New statistics published this morning show it has only increased by 9.2%, with just one health board meeting the standard.

This is yet another cancer target that has been missed by this SNP Government. This latest failure comes on the back of over 50 months where the SNP have failed to hit the main cancer waiting time target.

Detecting cancer at stage one is lifesaving and it is right for the Scottish Government to be ambitious in trying to improve detection rates. However, Nicola Sturgeon set this target five years ago and it has been missed by a huge margin on her watch.

The support cancer patients are receiving is falling short against a range of measures. It simply isn’t good enough. SNP ministers must ensure that NHS boards are able to treat people in good time and with the dignity and diligence they deserve.

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