The number of cancer patients in the north-east being treated within national guideline times has risen, latest figures show.
New statistics for the final three months of 2019 show 80.3% of patients in the NHS Grampian region began treatment within 62 days – up 0.6% from the previous three months.
However, the figure still falls short of the Scottish Government target of 95%.
The number of patients beginning treatment within 31 days of an action plan being agreed fell slightly, from 95.1% to 92.8%.
A spokesman for NHS Grampian said: “Although we met, or exceeded, the 62-day standard in some individual specialities, across the board our performance is disappointing. The reason we are not achieving the standard is a shortage of nursing and medical staff within certain specialities.”
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North-east Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles called on the Scottish Government to provide greater resources to help meet targets.
He said: “At the moment, staff across the north-east are working flat out to protect everyone during the coronavirus outbreak.”
Conservative MSP Liam Kerr added: “At the end of last year, NHS Grampian staff were doing their best to meet Scottish waiting times standards.
“But the situation facing boards and patients has changed markedly in just a few months.”
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “It is important that health boards do all they can to ensure core areas such as urgent cancer surgery and other urgent treatments are protected despite the huge additional pressures on our NHS.”