Cancer Support Scotland response to the Cancer Recovery Plan

Wednesday 9th December saw the launch of the Scottish Government’s Cancer Recovery Plan which will take us through to March 2023.

The vision of the plan is “to improve cancer services and patient outcomes, and ensure equitable access to care wherever a patient may live, especially while the risk to COVID-19 persists. To do this, we will make the best use of workforce skills, technology and service innovation to drive earlier cancer diagnosis and treatment, and champion person-centred care.”

Cancer Support Scotland fully understand and welcome this vision however were disappointed, despite numerous attempts, to find that mental health and wellbeing are not set out as a priority area within the plan.

Cancer Support Scotland CEO, Rob Murray comments

“COVID19 has had a devastating impact on the mental health and wellbeing of those affected by cancer. Whilst Scotland has been a world leader for cancer treatment and diagnosis – it’s response to supporting mental health has been sorely missed in previous Government Cancer Strategies and plans.

Cancer Support Scotland welcomed the opportunity to positively engage with The Scottish Government in the development of the recovery plan and does see the commitment of the Government to support those with cancer. However, we are disappointed that once again, despite the compelling evidence provided on the need for focused support and investment throughout Scotland, the mental health of those affected by cancer has not been included as a priority area for a work programme.

We are hearing daily the devasting impact COVID19 has had to those who have been affected by cancer. It is a real shame that a number of small charities in Scotland have to hope and rely on the good will of the Scottish public in order to deliver vital mental health services such as counselling. Cancer Support Scotland will remain focused on improving the wellbeing of those with cancer, their carers and their families in so far as funds allow and hope in the near future there is the realisation regarding the mental health crisis impacting those affected by cancer.”

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