Our work in Scotland
Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland. However, bowel cancer is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.
We undertake a range of activities in Scotland as part of our work to save lives and have a team based in our office in Edinburgh.
We raise awareness
Volunteers in Scotland, who have been affected by bowel cancer in some way, deliver online bowel cancer awareness talks to workplaces and community groups, helping people to understand the signs, symptoms, and risk factors, as well as the importance of screening. Find out more and book a talk.
We provide information and support
We publish a wide range of free patient information covering all aspects of bowel cancer; from treatment and surgery to dietary advice and much more. Our booklets and factsheets are used by many hospitals and are given to patients when they are newly diagnosed or at certain points throughout the course of their treatment. For information on how to download or order our information, click here.
Our support events help people living with bowel cancer to learn more about their condition and to connect with others who've been through something similar.
After careful consideration and in line with current government guidance on social distancing, we've taken the difficult decision to cancel our Edinburgh Meet Together (due to take place in April 2020) and Glasgow Living with Bowel Cancer Support Day (due to take place in June 2020). We'll continue to monitor the situation closely and will keep our website updated with news about these events.
If you were planning to attend, you might be interested in joining our online community. It's a welcoming place for everyone affected by bowel cancer, including family and friends, to ask questions, read about people's experiences and support each other. From diagnosis and treatment, to living with and beyond bowel cancer, the community is here for you at any time. Join us at bowelcanceruk.org.uk/community
We educate professionals about the disease
Our training and education equips healthcare professionals with the knowledge and confidence to support early diagnosis and best treatment and care.
We offer online and face-to-face education for healthcare professionals interested developing their professional practice. In Scotland we have delivered a wide range of training– including colorectal nurse study days and GP masterclasses. With the support of the Scottish Government, we also delivered training to learning disability healthcare professionals on screening and bowel cancer awareness. For more information, click here.
We work closely with healthcare professionals
We're passionate about working closely with healthcare professionals to improve outcomes and enhance care for people with bowel cancer.
We're here to support the Scottish Colorectal Cancer Nurses Network and encourage all colorectal nurses in Scotland to join. Membership is free and the opportunity to join a strong and determined community working to improve the lives of people affected by bowel cancer. Click here to join.
We're committed to working closely with healthcare professionals on the development of our services, expert information and support. There are lots of ways to get involved, from volunteering your time at an event to reviewing our health information and giving us your feedback on our work.
Information resources – From diagnosis and treatment to living with and beyond bowel cancer
Download this handy briefing sheet for healthcare professionals in Scotland supporting people affected by bowel cancer.
Our campaigning and policy work covers issues affecting people right across the UK and we include the experience of people in Scotland in all our work.
In 2018 we launched our Endoscopy Campaign in Scotland: 'Right Test Right Time' when statistics revealed that 66% of Health Boards were in breach of the national waiting time standard of less than 5% of patients waiting longer than six weeks for tests that could diagnose bowel cancer.
Because of our ongoing campaigning, the national Endoscopy Action Plan was published in March 2019. However, the waiting time breaches still present a worrying picture and we will continue to campaign to ensure that the action plan is implemented to tackle the growing endoscopy crisis in Scotland. Read more about the story here.
Our 'Time to Test' campaigning work in Scotland, which focuses on Lynch syndrome, has found that only three health boards (21%) follow best practice to test all bowel cancer patients for Lynch syndrome at the point of their diagnosis.
In June 2019, as part of a week of action, we took our #TimetoTest petition to Scottish Parliament, calling for better identification and management of people with Lynch syndrome.
You can campaign with us and sign up as a campaign supporter to help us improve early diagnosis and access to best treatment and care for all those affected. Sign up and support our campaigns.
Bowel Cancer Champions
We're asking Members of Scottish Parliament to join us as bowel cancer champions. These politicians will work with us to improve early diagnosis and access to best treatment and care both in their constituency and nationally. By bringing people together, such as patients and families, doctors and nurses, scientists and politicians we will create a future where nobody dies of the disease. Find out if your MSPs are bowel cancer champions here.
We work with others
We're passionate about collaborating and working with others to improve outcomes for people with cancer and are involved in a number of groups and boards.
In 2019 our Head of External Affairs (Devolved Nations), Claire Donaghy, was appointed as chair of the Scottish Cancer Coalition. Find out more about the work of the coalition here.
We have representations on a number of groups including:
- The Detect Cancer Early Programme Board
- Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Cancer
- Scottish Cancer Taskforce
- The Scottish Cancer Prevention Network
- The Scottish Health Technologies Group
- National Colorectal Liver Metastases Collaboration
- Scottish Government Screening Inequalities Network
For more information and to feed in any issues through these groups, contact Claire Donaghy, Head of External Affairs (Devolved Nations).
We encourage people to take part in bowel screening
Bowel cancer screening can save lives but at the moment in some areas of the UK only a third of those who receive a test complete it. Thousands of people are missing out on the chance to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat. Find out more about bowel screening in Scotland.
We're determined to save lives but we can't do this without you. There are lots of ways you can support us in Scotland and help fund vital services and lifesaving research to save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by bowel cancer.
Improving Surgery, Saving Lives appeal
In 2018, we launched an appeal for Scotland – to invest in research aimed at improving surgery for bowel cancer. In partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, we have committed to investing £430,000 into a Research Chair position based in Scotland.
We'd like to thank the following organisations and groups who have supported our appeal to date.
- Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
- Surgeons Quarter
- Hebridean Men's Cancer Support Group
- DJP Solicitors
- Phoenix Car Company
- Scotland’s Life Sciences Awards
- Women of Scotland Lunch 2020
Bowel Cancer UK
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