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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-11921

  • Asked by: Paul McLennan, MSP for East Lothian, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 4 November 2022
  • Current status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 24 November 2022


To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to monitor the number of patients diagnosed with leukaemia in an emergency hospital admission.


The Scottish Government does not hold data on emergency presentations.

We are committed to reducing emergency diagnoses for cancer and have established three Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Services (RCDS) across NHS Scotland, with a further two sites announced by the First Minister on 10 October 2022.

RCDS provide primary care with access to a new referral pathway for patients with non-specific symptoms suspicious of cancer. The Clinical Leads for two of the Services are Haematologists, reflecting the role that this new model can play in diagnosing blood cancers including leukaemia earlier.

In addition, the Scottish Government will continue to work closely with primary care clinicians, including the Scottish Primary Care Cancer Group, to identify possible symptoms as early as possible and support appropriate referral via the Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer.

Work is underway to develop a new earlier diagnosis vision in Scotland - this will form part of the new cancer strategy, due to publish Spring 2023. Measurements such as emergency presentation data, to track progress and improvements, are being considered.