Both headlines are true but McArdle chooses one piece of evidence as the headline and I choose the other. Here is the detail:

The targets are that 95% of patients should be treated within 31 days of being diagnosed and within 62 days of being referred by their GP.

The first target has been surpassed for the last 9 months and the second has been missed for 7 years though performance has been improving for the last 15 months.

Which target is the more important? I don’t know.

What is the news?

Isn’t change newsworthy?

The details from NHS Scotland:

The 62-day standard states that 95% of eligible patients will wait a maximum of 62 days from referral to first cancer treatment.

  • 84.7% of patients started treatment within the 62-day standard, compared to 83.7% in the previous quarter, and 81.4% for quarter ending March 2019.
  • The 62-day standard was met by two NHS Boards: NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Borders. For the Boards that did not meet the standard, performance ranged from 71.4% (NHS Orkney) to 92.2% (NHS Ayrshire & Arran and NHS Tayside).

The 31-day standard states that 95% of all patients will wait no more than 31 days from decision to treat to first cancer treatment.

  • 96.1% of patients started treatment within the 31-day standard, compared with 96.5% in the previous quarter and 94.9% for quarter ending March 2019.
  • The 31-day standard was met by 12 NHS Boards. The Boards that did not meet the standard were NHS Highland (93.1%), Golden Jubilee National Hospital (87.6%) and NHS Shetland (84.6%).

https://beta.isdscotland.org/find-publications-and-data/conditions-and-diseases/cancer/cancer-waiting-times/