The annual Scottish Cancer Network Stakeholder event took place in Dunblane this week.
The conference, which was attended by our Policy and Public Affairs Officer Thomas Brayford, paid special attention to the role of cancer networks. Other themes explored including improving access and recruitment to clinical trials, and the future direction of cancer services in Scotland.
In the opening address, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Humza Yousaf MSP praised the work of cancer networks in Scotland and the importance of collaboration. He reiterated his previous statement made at a recent Scottish Cancer Coalition event that we need to “be honest about the scale and the size of recovery” post pandemic. Mr Yousaf also pledged to make Scotland “one of the best in the world” when it comes to cancer care and treatment.
There were other notable contributions from delegates, including Professor David Morrison, Director of the Scottish Cancer Registry, who stressed that intelligence around cancer was not just around hard data, but also requires “expert listening skills”.
This was a sentiment echoed by Penny Richardson, a patient representing the Transforming Cancer Care Executive Group, who called for a radical change to how hospitals communicate with patients, starting with appointment letters and treatment plans. She said: “Let’s not spend the next 100 years getting each Health Board to pilot its own version of a Patient’s Cancer Plan and then have endless, endless meetings deciding how to take it forward.”
Elsewhere a productive discussion on improving clinical trials access, led by National Clinical Director Dermot Murphy, resulted in many good ideas which will all be relayed to Scottish elected representatives. Ideas included ensuring there is buy-in of all the Multi-Disciplinary Teams for clinical trials and to ensure that a trial culture is fostered.
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