A planned investment of up to £114.5 million will ensure that cancer patients continue to have equitable access to care in NHS Scotland regardless of where they live.

The Cancer Recovery Plan will improve patients’ experience of care, and will roll-out innovative treatments – many of which have been expedited by the pandemic – to improve cancer services.

A total of 68 actions will be driven forward across five themes to both redesign cancer services and increase NHS Scotland’s overall resilience to any future rises in coronavirus (COVID-19) prevalence.

The actions will be rolled out before March 2023 and will include:

  • Two new Early Cancer Diagnostic Centres, established within the existing NHS infrastructure by spring 2021
  • A programme of ‘Prehabilitation’ helping patients prepare for treatment
  • A single point of contact for cancer patients to support them throughout their diagnosis and treatment   
  • A resource dedicated to the national oversight of clinical management guidelines

Chair of the Scottish Cancer Coalition and Head of External Affairs for Scotland at Bowel Cancer UK, Claire Donaghy, said, ‘Every member of the Scottish Cancer Coalition has seen first-hand the significant impact COVID-19 has had on cancer services in Scotland, and we are pleased that ‘Recovery and Redesign: An action plan for cancer services’ has been published.

The Scottish government clearly recognises the crucial role the third sector has in supporting cancer patients, and we welcomed the opportunity to input into the development of the plan.

NHS Scotland continues to face unprecedented pressures, and we hope that the 68 identified actions will help to ensure the delivery of improved cancer services and patient outcomes.’