10 December 2020

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“While this Plan to recover and redesign cancer services in Scotland includes welcome commitments and funding that could improve early diagnosis and access to care and treatment for thousands of cancer patients, it neglects to address some critical issues that would improve the outcomes and experience of people with breast cancer.

“The cancer workforce is in crisis; we are pleased to see the investment in diagnostic equipment included, but we also need an adequately resourced and supported workforce alongside this. Until this investment in the cancer workforce is made, women may be left waiting longer for a breast cancer diagnosis and any treatment that they need – an alarming prospect when we know that the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment.

“It is extremely disappointing that this Plan does not include commitments to improve care for incurable secondary breast cancer patients that were made in the update to the Cancer Strategy published earlier this year and this must be urgently addressed. In particular the Cancer Recovery Plan marks another missed opportunity to improve the data available on secondary breast cancer - including the number of people living with the disease – the first step to ensuring every person gets the care and support that they need. People with secondary breast cancer do not have time on their side, making every missed chance to address their needs another tragedy that should have been avoided.

“With this Cancer Recovery Plan falling short of delivering on the needs of people with breast cancer, we hope that the Scottish Government will take additional steps to ensure that everyone living with this devastating disease receives the best possible care, as they deserve.”