The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Short­age of staff ‘risk’ to cancer sur­vival

- BY CRAIG PA­TON Health · Pharmaceutical Industry · Cancer · Medicine · Society · British Politics · Industries · Health Conditions · European Politics · Politics · Scotland · Scottish Parliament · United Kingdom · Scottish Government · Mitchell · Bladder Cancer · Anas Sarwar · Jeane Freeman

A lack of fund­ing, for­ward think­ing and short­ages of staff has seen cancer treat­ment stall in Scot­land, ac­cord­ing to a par­lia­men­tary re­port.

The Scot­tish Par­lia­ment’s Cross-Party Group on Cancer, which will pub­lish its re­port to­day, found that 18% of cancer pa­tients in June were not seen within the six-week tar­get.

The find­ings of the re­port have been de­scribed as “deeply con­cern­ing” by Cancer Re­search UK, and group con­vener Anas Sar­war said it must act as an “ur­gent wake-up call” for the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment.

He said: “Cancer sur­vival is be­ing put at risk be­cause of a chronic

“The find­ings of this in­quiry are deeply con­cern­ing”

staffing short­age in our NHS.

“This has dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences for pa­tients with cancer and their fam­i­lies and friends.

“With a grow­ing and age­ing pop­u­la­tion, the time for ac­tion is now.

“We need a longterm work­force plan backed up by suf­fi­cient in­vest­ment and re­sources to save lives in Scot­land.”

Cancer Re­search UK chief ex­ec­u­tive Michelle Mitchell said: “The find­ings of this in­quiry are deeply con­cern­ing.

“Di­ag­nos­ing cancer early can make all the dif­fer­ence, but there are ma­jor short­ages in the staff trained to carry out the tests that di­ag­nose cancer.”

Re­spond­ing to the re­port, Health Sec­re­tary Jeane Free­man said: “Cancer is an ab­so­lute pri­or­ity for the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and our £100 mil­lion cancer strat­egy is fo­cused on im­prov­ing sur­vival rates and en­sur­ing we have the right work­force.”

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