Beating bowel cancer together

We respond to restoration of cancer services announcement in Scotland

We welcome the Scottish Government’s plans to remobilise NHS cancer care in the country, putting patients at its heart and focusing on improving services and access to the best possible treatments.

NHS Scotland’s recovery plan will be led by clinical leaders and speciality advisers and will align with the NHS Remobilise, Recover and Re-design framework. New positive measures used in response to COVID-19 will be maintained – these include more use of video technology, nationally consistent approaches to prioritisation, innovative triage techniques, and quicker decision making in new treatment options.

Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive at Bowel Cancer UK, said, “The recovery plan is essential for ensuring cancer services are running with maximum impact as soon as possible, so we’re pleased to see the Scottish Government has committed to developing the plan over the coming weeks and publishing in early Autumn.

“More than 3,700 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in Scotland each year, and around 1,600 people die from the disease annually. It’s Scotland’s second biggest cancer killer, but it doesn’t have to be, as it’s treatable and curable, especially when it’s diagnosed early.

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a severe impact on the NHS, and people who have been waiting for further tests to potentially confirm a bowel cancer diagnosis, or to receive treatment, risk suffering worse outcomes as a result of delays.

“The Scottish Government must be clear about how funding and resources will be focused, so people in Scotland with bowel cancer can be assured they will get the screening, diagnostics and treatment they desperately need.”

We are is part of a coalition of charities which presented their priorities for cancer services recovery to the Scottish Government earlier this month. These have informed the Cabinet Secretary's advice to progress with a recovery plan and we look forward to engaging in its development.

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