Lothian leads way on cancer treatment

CANCER patients in the Lothians are treated quicker than in any other area of mainland Scotland, new figures have shown.

It reaffirms NHS Lothian's position as the best-performing mainland health board on cancer in the country, with virtually everyone starting treatment within 62 days of diagnosis.

Health chiefs said the dedication of staff was the key reason behind the strong performance, especially given the high number who come through NHS Lothian's doors compared with smaller areas.

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Only in Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles was the percentage rate better.

Prof Alex McMahon, acting director of strategic planning and modernisation, said: "These figures show that in the last quarter we achieved delivery of treatment on 99.2 per cent of cancer patients within the 62-day target.

"This shows that hard work and dedication by NHS Lothian staff has delivered real gains for patients in terms of faster treatment."

Labour's health spokeswoman in Scotland, Jackie Baillie, added: "I welcome today's positive news on waiting times but there is still much more to be done. In particular, we need to catch cancer earlier."