Beating bowel cancer together

Our work in Scotland

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland. Every year more than 3,700 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in Scotland and around 1,500 people die from the disease. 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 talks to groups in local communities and workplaces helping people to understand the signs and symptoms and risk factors. Book a talk

If you live in Scotland and would like to become an awareness volunteer click here

We provide information

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.

We train healthcare professionals

The team in Scotland deliver Bowel Health and Screening Training across the country and can tailor the training to suit a range of audiences. Previously, the team have delivered to a wide range of healthcare professionals including Community Link workers from the Minority Ethnic Health Inclusion Service in Edinburgh, Health Improvement professionals from NHS Highlands and Islands, Macmillan Library Volunteers in Glasgow, and a Masterclass for GPs in Edinburgh.

Our training showcase document shows the depth and reach of our training work across the UK.

To discuss training requirements, get in touch at 0131 281 7351.

We train carers of people with learning disabilities

People with a learning disability have the right to the highest attainable health and access to the same range of health services as everybody else.  We want to make sure that health professionals and carers understand the importance of and feel confident supporting informed choices about bowel health and participation in the NHS bowel cancer screening programme.

We have developed this training workshop to equip and empower health professionals and carers with the knowledge, skills and resources to confidently support people with a learning disability with good bowel heath and screening choices.

If you want to learn more, get in touch by email.

We campaign

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.

Early diagnosis

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.

The waiting time breaches present a worrying picture and demonstrate the urgent need for the Scottish Government to develop a plan of action to tackle the growing endoscopy crisis in Scotland. If ignored, services will continue to struggle to provide timely, high quality care to all and lives will be needlessly lost. Read more about the story here.

Lynch Syndrome

Our 'Time to Test' campaigning work in Scotland, which focusses on Lynch Syndrome, has found that 50% of health boards test bowel cancer patients under 60 for Lynch syndrome – in line with the Scottish Molecular Pathology Consortium guidelines. In addition to this, a further 43% of health boards test all bowel cancer patients for Lynch syndrome – over and above the country’s recommendations. However, only three health boards (21%) follow best practice to test all bowel cancer patients for Lynch syndrome at the point of their diagnosis. Read more about this story here

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.

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.

We have representations on a number of groups including:

  • The Scottish Cancer Coalition
  • 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


For more information and to feed in any issues through these groups, contact Claire Donaghy, Head of Scotland.

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 fundraise

We are determined to save lives from bowel cancer but we can’t do this without you. There are lots of ways you can support us in Scotland and help fund vital research to stop people dying of bowel cancer.

Fundraise for us in Scotland

Organise your own fundraising

Become a corporate partner

Make a donation

Contact us

Bowel Cancer UK
Hayweight House
23 Lauriston Street
Call us 0131 281 7351


Our team in Scotland:

Claire Donaghy, Head of Scotland

Email Claire

Claire Finlayson, Health Promotion and Training Officer

Email Claire

Ross Lamb, Health Promotion and Training Co-ordinator 

Email Ross

Jo Paulson, Fundraising Manager 

Email Jo

Emma Boffey, Community and Events Fundraiser 

Email Emma

Your support helps save lives. Donate now and help us ensure a future where nobody dies of bowel cancer.
Your support helps save lives. Donate now and help us ensure a future where nobody dies of bowel cancer.

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