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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-11924

  • 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 are being taken to ensure that all patients who present to their GP with symptoms of leukaemia receive a blood test as soon as possible, in light of this reportedly not being specifically covered in the Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer.


A clinical refresh of the Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer was completed in 2018 with revised clinical guidance published January 2019. The guidelines support primary care clinicians in ensuring those with symptoms suspicious of cancer are put on the right pathway at the right time.

The Scottish Government continues to work closely with primary care clinicians across NHS Scotland, including the Scottish Primary Care Cancer Group, to raise awareness of symptoms and best referral practice for all cancer types.

Scotland’s first three Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Services are live, providing primary care with a new referral pathway for patients with non-specific symptoms i.e. fatigue, nausea, weight loss – this can often include patients with Haematological cancers. A suite of tests, including blood tests, are undertaken in primary care at the point of referral. The Scottish Government is committed to working towards equitable access to a RCDS across Scotland, for eligible patients.