Skip to main content

Language: English / GĂ idhlig


Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-25921

  • Asked by: Paul Sweeney, MSP for Glasgow, Scottish Labour
  • Date lodged: 29 February 2024
  • Current status: Answered by Neil Gray on 14 March 2024


To ask the Scottish Government how it is supporting patients who are on waiting lists for cancer diagnostic tests or cancer treatment.


The Scottish Government is committed to supporting people at all stages of a potential or confirmed cancer diagnosis. We are investing in the Single Point of Contact programme so that people with a suspicion, or a diagnosis of cancer, are at the heart of all decisions and actions involving them. There are currently 12 pilot projects across Scotland testing ways of working that improve communication and provide early and ongoing support. A scalability assessment is underway which will outline how best we can scale up and expand the reach of the programme.

In addition to this, Scotland’s first Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Services (RCDSs) – established within existing NHS infrastructure – are operational in NHS Ayrshire and Arran, NHS Dumfries and Galloway NHS Fife, NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Borders. These are providing primary care with access to a new referral pathway for patients with non-specific symptoms suspicious of cancer. Patient navigators are embedded in RCDSs, supporting patients and their families from the point of referral while they wait for tests and results.

We are also currently working in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to improve the service we offer people affected by cancer through the Transforming Cancer Care Programme (TCC). This joint partnership is the first of its kind in the UK and ensures that every person with cancer in Scotland has access to a key support worker, who can provide emotional, financial and practical support to those who need it throughout their experience of cancer care.