Cancer survey reveals cause for concern

Responses to a survey of cancer patients suggests staff are overstretched and struggling to provide people suffering from cancer with all the support they need.

More than 2600 cancer patients took part in the Scottish Cancer Patient Experience Survey, which was commissioned jointly between Macmillan Cancer Support and the Scottish Government. Details of patient responses published in media reports today revealed common concerns included long waits for diagnosis, unreliable administration systems and staffing levels.

NHS staff across Scotland do fantastic work to support people suffering from cancer and this is reflected in the many positive comments that were received in the patient survey.

But health service workers would be the first to recognise that there are real causes for concern here too.

When it comes to cancer, early diagnosis saves lives and we need to ensure that people are not left in the dark for months on end. We know that the 62 day treatment target has been missed and missed again.

With patients raising concerns over waits for diagnosis and staffing levels this survey suggests that staff are overstretched and need additional support.

Everyone suffering from a serious illness like cancer deserves the best care, delivered as quickly as possible. If there are not sufficient staff to allow doctors and nurses to do their jobs to the best of their ability then this is a real problem.

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