One of my constituents, Mr Watson, has raised a serious issue around waiting times for the dermatology department at Aberdeen royal infirmary. Mr Watson attended his general practitioner two years ago, and was diagnosed with a basal cell carcinoma near his eye. After diagnosis, he had to wait a full year to see a specialist in the department, who informed him that he would need surgery on the surrounding area. He has been waiting a further 10 months, and no treatment has been received. As such, nearly two years later, nothing has been done. A second lesion has now appeared on his ear.
The situation breaches numerous waiting time targets on cancer treatment and referral, and is totally unacceptable. Does the First Minister agree, and will she say what is being done to address this scandalous situation?
Firstly, from what Peter Chapman has recounted to the chamber, I agree that that is not an acceptable wait for Mr Watson; through Peter Chapman, I convey my best wishes to him. The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport will be very happy to look into the individual case, if Peter Chapman provides the details of his constituent.
More generally, as Peter Chapman will be aware, the £850 million waiting times improvement programme is under way to make sure that, as demand for healthcare services rises—in Scotland as elsewhere—the health service is building the capacity to meet that demand. We would be very happy to look into Mr Watson’s case.