Publication - Transparency data

NHS Scotland performance against LDP standards

Published: 18 Dec 2019

Performance data on the current Local Delivery Plan (LDP) Standards - priorities set and agreed between the Scottish Government and NHS Boards to provide assurance on NHS Scotland performance. 

NHS Scotland performance against LDP standards
Cancer waiting times

LDP Standard

95% of all patients diagnosed with cancer to begin treatment within 31 days of decision to treat, and 95% of those referred urgently with a suspicion of cancer to begin treatment within 62 days of receipt of referral. 

Current national performance

In the quarter ending June 2021, 84.1% of patients urgently referred with a suspicion of cancer began treatment within 62 days of their referral.

In the quarter ending June 2021, 98.1% of patients diagnosed with cancer started treatment within 31 days of their decision to treat.

About this LDP standard

The time from when a suspicion of cancer is raised is a particularly distressing and anxious time for both the patient and their family. Within NHSScotland two standards are in place to support diagnostics and treatments are delivered efficiently.

62-day standard from receipt of referral to start of treatment for newly diagnosed primary cancers. This applies to:

  • patients urgently referred with a suspicion of cancer by a primary care clinician
  • screened positive patients referred through a national cancer screening programme
  • direct referral to hospital (for example, self-referral to A&E)

31-day standard from decision to treat to start of treatment for newly diagnosed primary cancers (whatever their route of referral).

Both cancer access standards apply to ten major cancer types:

  • Breast
  • Colorectal
  • Head & Neck
  • Lung
  • Lymphoma
  • Ovarian
  • Melanoma
  • Upper Gastro-Intestinal (hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) and oesophago-gastric (OG))
  • Urological (prostate, bladder, other)
  • Cervical

The stated waiting time must be met for 95% of all patients covered by the standard. A 5% tolerance level is taken into account when measuring performance, as for some patients it will not be clinically appropriate for treatment to begin within the standard.

The NHS Board to which a patient is initially referred is responsible for meeting 95% compliance within the 62-day standard. The NHS Board where the patient receives their first treatment will be responsible for meeting 95% compliance within the 31-day standard. This responsibility remains unchanged if an NHS Board chooses to outsource part of a patient's care.

Performance against this standard

Scotland’s three national screening programmes have resumed and urgent suspicion of cancer referrals returned to pre-Covid levels. Necessary health protection measures, including self-isolation, social distancing and additional deep cleaning, impacts on cancer pathways, particularly scope-based diagnostic tests. Clinical guidance, developed in response to the pandemic, continues to be embedded, ensuring high-quality care is delivered in the safest possible way to those who need it most. Latest published data (Q2 2021) covers the period after the country’s second national lockdown, when the NHS was under significant pressure, and this have an impact on the numbers being treated at this time. 

62-day referral to treatment

The standard is to achieve 95% of patients diagnosed with cancer starting treatment within 62 days if urgently referred with a suspicion of cancer, referred through A&E, or referred from one of the national cancer screening programmes.

In the quarter ending June 2021, 84.1% of patients urgently referred with a suspicion of cancer began treatment within 62 days of their referral.

The graph below shows national performance on the 62 day standard since quarter ending June 2015.

Cancer Waiting Time (62 days) December 2020

NHS Board level performance is shown for the most recent time period in the table below.

The table below shows the percentage of patients starting treatment within 62-days of urgent referral with a suspicion of cancer, by NHS Board, for quarter ending June 2021.

NHS Board

Quarter ending June 2021

NHS AYRSHIRE & ARRAN

88.5%

NHS BORDERS

91.5%

NHS DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY

93.4%

NHS FIFE

80.3%

NHS FORTH VALLEY

85.9%

NHS GRAMPIAN

81.4%

NHS GREATER GLASGOW & CLYDE

81.4%

NHS HIGHLAND

64.8%

NHS LANARKSHIRE

89.9%

NHS LOTHIAN

88.6%

NHS ORKNEY

91.7%

NHS SHETLAND

73.3%

NHS TAYSIDE

90.2%

NHS WESTERN ISLES

79.2%

NHSSCOTLAND

84.1%

Source: Scottish Cancer Waiting-Times System

31-day decision to treat to first treatment

The target is to achieve 95 % of patients diagnosed with cancer starting treatment within 31 days of their decision to treat, irrespective of the source or urgency of the referral.

In the quarter ending June 2021, 98.1% of patients diagnosed with cancer started treatment within 31 days of their decision to treat.

The graph below shows national performance on the 31 day standard since quarter ending June 2015.

Cancer waiting times (31 days) December 2020

NHS Board level performance is shown for the most recent time period in the table below.

The table below shows the percentage of cancer patients starting treatment within 31-days of decision to treat, by NHS Board, for quarter ending June 2021.

NHS Board

Quarter ending June 2021

NHS AYRSHIRE & ARRAN

98.2%

NHS BORDERS

100%

NHS DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY

99.3%

NHS FIFE

99.0%

NHS FORTH VALLEY

97.9%

NHS GRAMPIAN

96.5%

NHS GREATER GLASGOW & CLYDE

98.0%

NHS HIGHLAND

96.2%

NHS LANARKSHIRE

99.2%

NHS LOTHIAN

98.9%

NHS ORKNEY

100%

NHS SHETLAND

100%

NHS TAYSIDE

97.8%

NHS WESTERN ISLES

100%

NHS Golden Jubilee 

100%

NHSSCOTLAND 98.1%

Source: Scottish Cancer Waiting-Times System

Further information 

Better Cancer Care - An Action Plan

Cancer Waiting Times statistics

Cancer Incidence statistics

Related National Outcomes

Page updated: 28 September 2021.