Holyrood unveils plans for ‘world class cancer care’ for children

It includes a total of ten priorities for the next five-years, backed by funding of almost £6m.

Holyrood unveils plans for ‘world class cancer care’ for children iStock
Health secretary Humza Yousaf said the strategy marks an 'exciting time' for children and young people's cancer services.

A strategy to deliver “world class cancer care” for children and young people has been published by the Scottish Government.

It includes a total of ten priorities for the next five years, backed by funding of almost £6m.

The priorities include working towards funding genetic testing to provide personally targeted treatment, setting up a national molecular radiotherapy service for children, and raising the profile of supported care services and holistic care.

It also sets out plans to develop a single centre of excellence to provide radiotherapy treatment to improve survival among children with cancer, as well as expanding Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell therapy (CAR-T) to teenagers and young adults.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf said the strategy marks an “exciting time” for children and young people’s cancer services.

“Receiving a cancer diagnosis is never easy, but receiving one at such a young age is especially difficult,” he said.

“We know that diagnosis has come a long way, with survival rates remaining stable for children and young people. However there is still more we can do to support this age group to live long, healthy and happy lives.

“This strategy, backed by almost £6m, marks an exciting time for children and young people’s cancer services as the first strategy for this age group.

“It outlines our ten ambitions to build on previous successes so that, by 2026, we will see improved and enhanced outcomes for patients and ensure equal access to care across Scotland.”

Medical director of NHS Forth Valley Andrew Murray said: “I am delighted to see the launch of Collaborative and Compassionate Cancer Care, after such a challenging period in the NHS Scotland’s history.

“And I look forward to working with our clinicians and families to deliver its ambitious objectives over the next five years, improving experiences and outcomes.”