Most Scottish NHS boards are meeting or exceeding the target of 95 per cent of patients with cancer going from referral to treatment within 62 days, but more needs to be done to ensure all boards are meeting the target, Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Figures released today show 11 out of 14 boards met or exceeded the target in one or more of the last four quarters.

The mainland health boards with the highest and lowest percentage of referred patients were respectively NHS Borders with 100 per cent and NHS Grampian with 89.9 per cent.

Overall, 93.5 per cent of urgently referred patients diagnosed with cancer between April and June 2008 began treatment within 62 days of their referral. Between January and March 2008, 94.1 per cent of urgently referred patients began treatment within 62 days.