Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has called on the Scottish Government to produce a fully resourced plan to restart cancer treatment and screenings.
This follows figures released by the National Records of Scotland which show that Scotland has seen 950 excess cancer deaths at home since week 12 of this year, when the first recorded COVID-19 case was registered in Scotland.
The statistics show that between week 12 and week 29 of this year 2,639 people died at home from cancer in Scotland. This represents an increase of nearly one thousand on the comparable figure from last year of 1,689.
Jackie Baillie has repeatedly called for urgent action to be taken in regard to cancer services in Scotland. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have consistently failed to meet key cancer service targets, including failing to meet the 62 day standard from diagnosis to treatment in every quarterly review since December 2016. Over the same period, it was below the Scotland wide average for the percentage of patients that were seen within the 62 day standard.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
““The shocking rise in the number of people dying from cancer at home should be a wakeup call for the Health Secretary and the Scottish Government.
“Cancer remains Scotland’s number one cause of death and I am deeply concerned to see such a sharp increase in the number of people who have died from cancer at home during the COVID-19 crisis.
“The delivery of cancer treatment must now be a top priority for the Scottish Government when putting in place NHS recovery plans. It is a fact that individuals have the best chance of surviving cancer when the disease is caught early and treated quickly. Patients deserve far more than the standard of care they are currently receiving.
“The Health Secretary must listen to patients and staff and take urgent action to recover all cancer services and treatments impacted by Covid-19.”