Scotland’s cancer strategy 2022

holding hands in surgery

CRUK’s response to Scotland’s new cancer strategy was shaped and supported by people affected by cancer in Scotland

Earlier this year, the Scottish Government launched a consultation to inform the development of Scotland’s new cancer strategy. This new cancer strategy has the potential to be a major milestone for people affected by cancer in Scotland, signalling renewed drive and setting an ambitious roadmap towards better cancer outcomes.

CRUK was invited to respond to the Scottish Government led strategy consultation. We wanted to ensure that the experiences of people affected by cancer in Scotland were heard and shaped our recommendations. That’s why we sent out a survey to the Scottish members of the Patient Involvement Network in May, with questions to ask what their priorities for Scotland’s new strategy are.

We received twenty-five informative responses that detailed the perspectives of people affected by cancer and their ambitions for cancer in Scotland. These responses directly informed our consultation response – we added further detail on areas that were emphasised as a priority for action and used quotes from survey responses to show why this issue is so important for people affected by cancer.

The issues raised from the survey covered the full cancer pathway, including - preventing more cancers; diagnosing cancers earlier; accessing better treatments; and driving forward research.

Some of the key themes and quotes which stood out were:

  • Improving early diagnosis, particularly through reducing any barriers to screening: “Early diagnosis must be a high priority to provide the best chance for effective treatment”
  • Tackling unacceptable regional variation between cancer services: “Your health shouldn't be decided by your postcode”
  • Ensuring data is safely and effectively used to improve cancer services and research: “If what I suffered can help those in the future I’m happy for my data to be used”

We’re grateful to everyone who took the time to respond to the survey. The insights shared through the survey meant that CRUK’s response was able to be shaped and supported by people affected by cancer in Scotland, helping to ensure our work advocating for a strong cancer strategy in Scotland can be as impactful as possible.