Baillie has called on NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to rethink their Breast Service Review as new figures from ISD Scotland show that people in deprived areas are more likely to be diagnosed and die from cancer than in other areas.
ISD figures for up to 2017 show that cancer rates are more than a third higher in Scotland’s most deprived areas and mortality rates from cancer are 76 per cent higher. These figures also suggest that the number of cancer diagnoses and deaths in Scotland’s deprived communities is increasing.
In July this year, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde presented a paper to their Acute Services Committee which proposed removing the breast service from the Vale of Leven Hospital and Inverclyde Royal Hospital and centralising it at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.
Research has shown that women from lower socioeconomic groups are less likely to go for breast cancer screening, which links directly to evidence that this group of women have worse cancer survival rates. The MSP has said that moving services further away means that the likelihood of this group of women attending following up appointments becomes even less.
“It is clear that there is a direct link between women from deprived areas being less likely to attend breast screening appointments and the same group being more likely to be diagnosed and die from cancer.
“If we already know that this group are less likely to attend, then surely we should be ensuring that services are available as close to home as possible, for both the screening and follow up appointments.
“I hope that this new evidence from ISD Scotland will make the health board rethink their plans to move breast services to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley which would make it even more difficult for women in Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Helensburgh to attend follow up appointments if they are suspected of having cancer.”
Notes to Editors
ISD Scotland figures available: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/2018-10-30/2018-10-30-Cancer-Mortality-Summary.pdf