£10m investment fund for cancer care in Scotland
Tuesday 29 June 2021
We have today welcomed the announcement of a £10 million investment fund to help tackle cancer waiting times in Scotland.
The money is being provided to Health Boards across Scotland and will be directed to where it is most needed in each region, including enhancing staff skills, diagnostic tests and supporting evening and weekend working so more patients can be seen.
In December 2020, the Scottish Government published the National Cancer Recovery Plan which outlined an investment of up to £114.5 million to support cancer patients across the country. The plan included the establishment of three Early Cancer Diagnostic Centres, which enable GPs to refer patients with non-specific symptoms suspicious of cancer – such as fatigue, weight loss and nausea – onto a fast-track diagnostic pathway to get the care and treatment they need sooner.
Claire Donaghy, Head of External Affairs for the Devolved Nations at Bowel Cancer UK, says: "We welcome this much-needed funding, which we hope will improve waiting times for people with bowel cancer in Scotland.
"Before the pandemic, real improvements had been made to waiting time targets, largely due to rolling out the recommendations of the Endoscopy Action Plan. Sadly, the Covid-19 crisis has reversed this trend, meaning the amount of time people are waiting for tests which can diagnose bowel cancer has soared again.
"Bowel cancer is Scotland's second biggest cancer killer, but it shouldn't be because it's treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early. While this investment will go some way to tackling the crisis in endoscopy services where most bowel cancers are diagnosed, we really need to see a national endoscopy recovery plan published by the Scottish Government as soon as possible. This is vital to tackling the backlog and improving services for bowel cancer patients in the future."