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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-26208

  • Asked by: Finlay Carson, MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 15 March 2024
  • Current status: Answered by Neil Gray on 2 April 2024


To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of research published by the University of Aberdeen, which reports that cancer patients living in rural areas experience poorer outcomes, and what action it is taking to ensure equitable cancer care across all of Scotland's geography.


The Scottish Government welcomes the research published by the University of Aberdeen. We recognise that this data covers the time period between 2007 and 2017 and that there will have been continued service innovation in recent years including, for example, the roll out of Near Me.

However it is clear that improvements are needed. Our strategic aim, as reflected in the Cancer Strategy for Scotland (2023-33), is to improve cancer survival and provide excellent, equitably accessible care. One of our 11 ambitions in the strategy is Tackling Inequalities.

A Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the cancer strategy and plan was published in August 2023. A planned external evaluation will focus on inequalities, particularly social deprivation and geographies.

We are committed to understanding patients’ experiences, gaining opportunities for improvement and sharing good practice examples to ensure equitable cancer care. The first mail out of our latest Cancer Patient Experience Survey was sent on 14th February helping us work towards this aim.