• STV
  • MySTV

Half of health boards miss bowel cancer waiting times

More than 5500 patients each month wait longer than six weeks for their endoscopy test.

More than half of Scottish healthy boards are missing waiting time targets for bowel cancer tests, figures have shown.

According to Bowel Cancer UK, the waiting times for an endoscopy are among the highest of all the diagnostic tests in Scotland, with more than 5500 patients each month waiting longer than six weeks.

The tests are crucial in detecting bowel cancer, the UK's second deadliest cancer, and the charity is now calling for urgent action to speed up waiting times after it found 57% of health boards were missing the target.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Government announced funding of £14m to ensure that those who have been waiting longer than six weeks for tests that could diagnose bowel cancer are seen as a matter of urgency.

However, Bowel Cancer UK said an action plan outlining how the government intends to drive down waiting times and ensure there are enough NHS staff to carry out the tests has yet to be published.

Claire Donaghy, the charity's Scottish head, said: "Demand for these tests has been increasing, particularly since the introduction of the bowel cancer screening programme and recent roll out of the new and more accurate, faecal immunochemical test.

"How this growing demand will be met is a serious challenge for the health service in Scotland. It's crucial that health boards have the endoscopy capacity needed to meet demand and ensure patients are not waiting longer than the six week waiting time standard for key tests that can diagnose bowel cancer.

"With the cancer strategy failing to deliver, the Scottish Government must publish their plan of action to tackle the growing endoscopy crisis in Scotland. If ignored, services will continue to struggle to provide timely, high quality care to all and patients will be kept waiting for crucial diagnostic tests."

Health secretary Jeane Freeman responded: "I want to stop anyone from waiting too long for treatment, and that is why I instigated our new £850m Waiting Times Improvement Plan last month.

"The improvement plan's immediate focus is to reduce waits for patients whose treatment is urgent, who have a suspicion of cancer, and those who have waited the longest for an appointment.

"Our aim is that, by spring 2021, performance for outpatients waiting less than 12 weeks will be improved to 95%, and for inpatients and day cases under the treatment time guarantee it will be 100%."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.