NHS Scotland diagnostic appointments and National Treatment Centre (NTC) projects: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

1. Of the £29 million made available by the Scottish Government to provide an additional 78,000 diagnostic appointments in 2021-22, how much was actually spent? And how many additional diagnostic appointments were actually provided?

2. Was the Scottish Government successful in creating new capacity for 8,000 cataract procedures and 12,000 endoscopies in 2021-22? If not, what was the new capacity created for cataract procedures and endoscopies?

3. What work has been undertaken to develop business cases for two additional National Treatment Centres?

4. What evaluation (a) has taken place or (b) is ongoing to inform the wider roll out of Early Cancer Diagnostic Centres?


Please accept my apologies for the delay in response.

I include a copy of most of the information you requested.

Point 1
Regarding question 1(a), we are working with Health Boards to increase diagnostic capacity. The 78,000 diagnostic procedures is not a 21/22 deliverable in the recovery plan. An NHS Recovery Plan progress update is expected to be published in early October, which will include detail on progress against commitments.

Regarding question 1(b), while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, this is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA Information not held. This is because at the time of the request, the Scottish Government did not hold the information you requested.

Point 2
The National Eye Centre at NHS Golden Jubilee opened in November 2020 marking the completion of phase one of the NHS Golden Jubilee expansion. The six-theatre facility has capacity to perform more than 18,000 cataract procedures every year. Further information can be found on the Golden Jubilee website: Opening of specialist eye facility: NHS Golden Jubilee

In 2021-22, 5 additional endoscopy rooms were opened across NHS Scotland, creating capacity for 12,000 additional procedures.

Point 3
The Scottish Government meets with NHS Boards regularly to review the status and progress of National Treatment Centre (NTC) projects, including the two additional NTCs in Ayr and Cumbernauld, announced in the NHS Recovery Plan in August 2021.

With regards to the NTC in Ayr, NHS Ayrshire & Arran submitted an Outline Business Case/Economic Case in March 2022 and intend to submit a Full Business Case by the end of this financial year. Design work is progressing as planned, initial design workshops have been completed to ensure best practice in healthcare design is followed, and liaison with NHS Assure has commenced to plan future reviews.

NTC Lanarkshire is developing a Strategic Assessment for the NTC and work is progressing to scope the site location.

Point 4
All early adopter sites use the nationally agreed Early Cancer Diagnostic Centres (ECDC) data-set and share quarterly updates, including referral numbers and conversion rates, with the national multidisciplinary Oversight Group.

All patients who move through an ECDC are provided with a questionnaire to ensure a truly personcentred service is delivered. Similarly, primary care clinicians can provide feedback on any areas for improvement on an ongoing basis. Engagement and response rates for both questionnaires are high.

The University of Strathclyde has been contracted to undertake evaluation of Scotland’s first ECDCs, that are being delivered through the Centre for Sustainable Delivery (CfSD). The mixed-methods approach is currently underway and will help ensure learnings are embedded in other areas and best practice spread across NHS Scotland. An interim report, focusing on qualitative insight, is expected Autumn 2022 with a final report to follow Autumn 2023.

The NHS Recovery Plan commits to “the roll out of further Centres” but evaluation is key to ensure optimal models are embedded and build on learnings from early adopter Boards.

Section 17(1)(b) – Notice that information is not held by the Scottish Government.

An exemption under section 17(1) (b) of FOISA (information not held) applies to some of the information requested.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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