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HEAT Targets

Current Status

In Scotland, there was a 4.7% increase in the percentage of people diagnosed at stage 1 for breast, colorectal and lung cancer (combined) between the baseline of 2010/2011 and 2012/2013.

HEAT Target

To increase the proportion of people diagnosed and treated in the first stage of breast, colorectal and lung cancer by 25% by 2014/2015.

Detect Cancer Early

Why is this HEAT target important?

Cancer survival is a key measure of the effectiveness of health care systems.

The earlier that cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the survival outcomes. Although cancer survival has improved, the UK still lags behind performance in other European countries. Improving the percentage of early stage diagnoses will mean fewer premature deaths from cancer and this will have a positive effect on overall life expectancy in Scotland.

Scottish Government and NHSScotland aim to address this in the Detect Cancer Early programme and improve survival outcomes for people with cancer to amongst the best in Europe. Breast, colorectal and lung cancers were chosen to be included as they are the most common in Scotland accounting for 45% of all cancers in 2011. This HEAT target will be used as a proxy indicator of survival outcome and as a lever for whole systems approach to improvement with a continued drive to improve on the current high quality cancer service provision and patient and carer experience.

How are we performing?

Target due for delivery by 2014/2015

The target is for NHSScotland to achieve a 25% increase in the percentage of breast, colorectal and lung cancer cases (combined) diagnosed at stage 1.  This is to be achieved by the combined calendar years of 2014/2015 and is the equivalent of a national rate of stage 1 diagnosis for breast, colorectal and lung cancer (combined) of 29.0%.

The national baseline for the DCE HEAT target is 23.2% (based on 2010/2011).   There was a 4.7% increase to 24.3% in the percentage of people diagnosed at stage 1 for breast, colorectal and lung cancer (combined) between the baseline of 2010/2011 and 2012/2013.

Further information on the rationale behind the choice of data source and calculation of the target baseline can be found in the Technical Note below. A letter was also sent to the Health and Sport Committee of the Scottish Parliament to coincide with the publication of Cancer staging statistics and the Technical Note (second link below).

Further Information

Technical Note

Health and Sport Committee Letter

ISD Cancer Information Programme

Detect Cancer Early Implementation Plan

Cancer waiting times

Related National Outcomes

  • We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society
  • We live longer, healthier lives
  • Our public services are high quality, continually improving, efficient and responsive to local people's needs
  • We have strong, resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and how they affect others.