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NHS staff shortages put 'cancer survival rates at risk'

Progress on treating cancer has stalled in Scotland because of staff shortages and a lack of funding, according to a parliamentary report.

The Scottish Parliament's Cross-Party Group on Cancer found that 18% of cancer patients in June were not seen within the six-week target. Their report, which will be published later, has been described as "deeply concerning" by Cancer Research UK.

The Scottish government said its £100m strategy would improve survival rates.

Cancer Research UK Chief Executive Michelle Mitchell said the Scottish government must "publish a long-term cancer workforce plan" to enable the NHS to prepare for rising demand in the future. She said: "The findings of this inquiry are deeply concerning".

"Diagnosing cancer early can make all the difference, but there are major shortages in the staff trained to carry out the tests that diagnose cancer. Cancer services in Scotland are already struggling. Without urgent action, this will only worsen as demand increases."

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Source: BBC News, 18 November 2019


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