Statement from the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Pharmaceutical Officer
Responding to Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s report on the Clinical Management of Breast Cancer in NHS Tayside, published today, Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood and Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Dr Rose Marie Parr said:
“Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) was commissioned by us to carry out a review of breast cancer treatment in NHS Tayside. This followed concerns that were raised about variations in treatment compared with other health boards in Scotland. Today’s report sets out a number of important findings and recommendations.
“It is important to stress that the risk of a negative impact on the health of anyone treated for breast cancer in NHS Tayside since 2016 is very small.
“However, patient safety is our number one priority and we therefore take the findings and recommendations of this report seriously. They will be immediately considered by both the Scottish Government and NHS Tayside.
“In advance of the HIS report we also convened a multidisciplinary clinical Immediate Response Group to produce a risk assessment of the impact of the variations in clinical practice. Their findings are now being considered by NHS Tayside and will be used to inform the support offered to anyone who has concerns about the treatment they or their loved ones have received. NHS Tayside has also been asked to make any relevant changes to variations in clinical practice with immediate effect.
“In addition to this, the Chief Medical Officer has commissioned an expert group, led by Chair of the Scottish Cancer Taskforce Professor Aileen Keel. This group will fully consider all of the report’s individual recommendations and how they can be best delivered. We anticipate they will present their findings in June.
“In line with the principles of realistic medicine, it is vital that patients are actively involved in discussions about their treatment and that they feel empowered to ask questions about risks, benefits and any other options available to them.”