‘Cancer Research UK Manifesto’ Campaign Response

The impact of Covid-19 on cancer patients has been a priority in the SNP Scottish Government’s planning.  

The majority of cancer treatments have and will continue throughout the pandemic, and screening services have also resumed in a phased, careful and prioritised way, as part of the remobilisation of the NHS in Scotland, with prioritising the safety of screening participants and staff as we deliver the national screening programmes during and beyond this pandemic. 

The SNP Scottish Government is absolutely committed to detecting cancer early to save lives and has invested £42 million into our Detect Cancer Early Programme to raise awareness of potential cancer symptoms. 

The SNP Scottish Government have also invested £10 million to support access to cancer services including diagnostics and staffing; and have utilised private sector capacity and extended working days and weekend working to support vital cancer services. 

Diagnosing and treating cancer will remain a priority for the Scottish Government, which they have supported in a new Cancer Recovery Plan with a planned investment of up to £114.5 million over the next two years. This will support cancer patients to have equitable access to care regardless of where they live, improve patients’ experience of care, and roll-out innovative treatments to improve cancer services. 

Furthermore, the SNP is committed to improve the experience of and outcomes for people affected by cancer across Scotland by improving service delivery and reducing health inequalities. If re-elected, we will: 

  • Implement the Cancer Recovery Plan, including the £18 million partnership with Macmillan to ensure everyone with cancer in Scotland gets personalised care; 
    • Invest a further £20 million to expand our Detect Cancer Early programme; 
    • Retain the existing cancer targets and review whether there is merit in specific additional targets for different types of cancer and cancer treatments; 
    • Establish a network of fast-track cancer diagnostic centres in every health board area to help better support patients with non-specific symptoms suspicious of cancer, and each patient will be supported by a ‘navigator’ so the patient will have one key contact throughout the process. The first three of these – in Ayrshire & Arran, Fife and Dumfries & Galloway – will be up and running by the end of May.

Fiona Hyslop