The Scottish Government has announced today they are appointing two independent diagnostic leads to scrutinise the healthcare system and ensure testing for illnesses, including cancer, is coordinated effectively across the country.
The independent diagnostic leads will provide both clinical and management leadership and explore what innovative approaches can be rolled out across the country, such as the expansion of the new bowel cancer screening test, Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT), in primary care for unexplained bowel symptoms and the use of specialist advanced nurses to better support diagnosis.
They have also announced a package of measures, including extra funding, is to be made available to health boards this year to reduce long waits for treatment. They will receive money to target a number of specialisms, including neurology, orthopaedics and diagnostics, to help deliver swift treatment.
Commenting on the announcement, Claire Donaghy, Head of Scotland for Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer, says: “This important announcement by the Scottish Government is a step in the right direction, but once appointed we urge the National Clinical Diagnostics Lead to tackle the endoscopy crisis as a priority. This includes overseeing the development and implementation of an action plan that provides a comprehensive assessment of future demand for endoscopy services, what capacity is required to meet this demand and how this extra capacity can be delivered. We look forward to working with the lead to ensuring everyone has access to timely and high quality tests for bowel cancer across Scotland.”