MSP Jackie Baillie has slammed the Scottish Government for their “inadequate cancer plan” as all health boards fail to meet targets.

The Dumbarton MSP’s comments come after it was revealed that no health board met the 62 day target or the 31 day target in the quarter ending 31 March 2023.

These targets aim for 95 per cent of cancer patients to start treatment within 31 days and 95 per cent of urgent referral patients who are found to have cancer to start treatment within 62 days.

The average across Scotland during the last quarter was just 69.4 per cent while in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area – which covers the Dumbarton constituency - the number sits at 60.1 per cent.

Ms Baillie said: “These statistics clearly show that our NHS is still in the midst of an SNP-made crisis – with cancer targets being missed again.

“A red alert should be sounding for this government with the 62-day standard not being met across the country and the 31-day target only being achieved by less than half of health boards.

“Indeed, in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the figures are even worse than in the rest of the country meaning people in my constituency, across Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven, Balloch, Helensburgh and Lomond could face worse outcomes as a result.

“Cancer remains Scotland’s biggest killer – but it is clear that thousands of Scots are waiting an unacceptably long time to be treated.

“NHS staff are working tirelessly but are being failed by this government and its inadequate cancer plan.

“Michael Matheson has inherited an almighty mess from Humza Yousaf – but we cannot wait any longer to see improvements.

“The lives of Scots hang in the balance – Matheson must act and fast.”

With the reveal of the latest stats, it becomes the fourth consecutive quarter that the 31-day target has been missed in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.

While some health boards have achieved the 62 day standard, on a whole this has not been met in over a decade.

Responding to MP Baillie’s comments, the Scottish Government stated that the NHS was facing stress and mentioned their recently launched 10-year-strategy for the NHS.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “NHS Scotland remains under pressure and this is reflected in the fact that we're treating more patients on 62 and 31 day pathways than before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There has been almost 800 additional cancer patients treated this quarter alone, compared to the same time pre-pandemic.

“Cancer remains a national priority, within the Scottish Government and across NHS Scotland, with urgent suspicion of cancer referrals continuing to be prioritised.

“That is why we have recently announced the new 10-year Cancer Strategy which takes a comprehensive approach to improving patient pathways, from prevention and diagnosis through to treatment and post-treatment care.”

Published on June 15, the 10 year cancer strategy aims to improve cancer prevention, treatment and aftercare by allowing for earlier diagnoses and more effective treatments.

Some of the ways they hope to achieve this is by introducing person-centred care for all, including mental health care for patients, and facilitating cancer research.

Outside of the strategy, the government has allocated £10 million of non-recurring Cancer Waiting Times funding throughout 2023/24 to help improve cancer care performance.

NHS Boards have submitted bids for the cash detailing where they will direct the funding to, how the money will aid their performance and how it will help them meet the 62 day target.

To read more about the Scottish Government’s 10 year strategy for cancer treatment, visit: