NHS Forth Valley will receive a share of £2.85million funding to help improve cancer services so that patients are seen more quickly.

The cash will be directed to health boards across Scotland to reduce waiting times, with a particular focus on speeding up access to diagnostic tests.

Welcoming the announcement by Health Secretary Shona Robison, Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “This investment will complement the Scottish Government’s £100million cancer strategy, which aims to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment over the next 10 years.

“Cancer services have come a long way over the past decade, with more people being cured or living longer with the disease. Early diagnosis plays a vital role in this, and this funding will ensure that treatment starts as soon as possible for patients.”

Ms Robison added: “Our ageing population means that more people are now being diagnosed with cancer. And, on a positive note, greater awareness has led to a growing number of people coming forward to get their symptoms checked. All this means more demand on services – and that’s a challenge we are ready to meet.”