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Scottish Government opens consultation on cancer care

The Scottish Government launched a consultation yesterday for people to have their say on improving cancer care.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Scotland, with 27,000 people a year being diagnosed with some form of the condition. The Scottish Government plans to cut the mortality rate from cancer by 20% in the under 75s by 2010 and to achieve a further 10% reduction in mortality rates in the most deprived social sectors.

Healthcare professionals, as well as patients and the general public have been invited to debate on areas concerning prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and care of cancer, as well as the issue of improving cancer treatment waiting times.

The consultation will take place over a 12 week period, and contributors are invited to complete an online form or attend a series of planned discussions across Scotland.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Nicola Sturgeon, who launched the discussion at the Cancer Centre in Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital said:

“Our discussion document includes many questions about specific issues and an open invitation for everyone to provide views and ideas about any aspect of cancer care.

“It builds on existing achievements by setting out a range of broad action areas to be addressed and putting a new focus on options to improve cancer waiting times.

“I have made it clear that I expect NHS Boards to deliver a maximum 62-day wait from urgent referral for all cancer types and I am pleased that current data on these waiting times is very encouraging.

“However I want patients to tell me how they find the current experience, and what they feel are reasonable waiting times. It’s important we develop a strategy that will meet the needs of those affected by cancer for years to come.”

The new cancer action plan is due to be published this summer.

Scottish Government