Cancer care in Scotland rated highly
Results of second national patient survey.
The vast majority of people rate their overall experience of cancer care positively, according to the latest Scottish Cancer Patient Experience Survey.
The results for the 2018 survey show 95% rated their overall care highly, up from 94% in 2015.
Around 5,000 people gave feedback for the survey on various aspects of their care, including diagnosis, treatment and support. The survey is funded by the Scottish Government and Macmillan Cancer Support.
More than four in five people (83%) thought their first appointment with a hospital doctor was as soon as necessary, with 87% agreeing their options were completely explained to them before their treatment started.
The survey also found areas where improvements should be made, including the explanation of potential future side effects of treatment, the emotional, practical and financial support available during treatment, and the provision of care plans.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:
“Being diagnosed with cancer can be very traumatic for individuals and their families - and it is vital we provide the best possible care.
“That’s why patient feedback is crucial. The results of this survey will support us in making further improvements in cancer care across Scotland and we will work to ensure all patients have the information they need about their treatment and support.
“Our £850 million Waiting Times Improvements Plan will direct significant investment into substantial and sustainable improvements, including diagnostics, which is crucial for cancer care.
“I expect health boards to listen to what people with cancer are saying about what matters to them, and make improvements based on their views.”
Janice Preston, Head of Macmillan in Scotland, said:
“It’s great news that people overwhelmingly rate their experience of care as good, and it’s really positive to see there have been some areas of improvement from the first survey.
“However it’s clear the emotional, practical and financial needs of many people are still not being met and that some people aren’t receiving care plans, despite the positive impact we know they have on people’s care.
“Cancer can affect every aspect of life, causing problems from debt to depression. It’s essential that people know where to turn for support. Providing everyone with cancer in Scotland with a care plan would ensure people received personalised care and all their individual needs are met.
“We look forward to working closely with the Scottish Government to make sure every cancer patient in the country is offered this as soon as possible.”
The Beating Cancer: Ambition and Action plan lists more than 50 steps being taken.
The Scottish Government’s revised Endoscopy Action Plan, backed by £6 million of funding, aims to ensure new patients are seen within six weeks for key endoscopic tests. The most urgent patients, including those suspected with cancer, will be prioritised and seen between two to three weeks.