Launch of patient engagement project

Nisreen Badiozzaman, Macmillan's partnership manager.
Nisreen Badiozzaman, Macmillan's partnership manager.

A major project which will transform routes to cancer treatment for people in Dumfries and Galloway will begin this month.

Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS Dumfries & Galloway have developed a new partnership to complete an extensive review of cancer services and patient pathway and palliative care provision.

Macmillan is investing £220,000 to provide an engagement programme with local cancer patients and their families. In addition, the charity will also provide £120,000 for local service teams to implement improvement initiatives within health and social care service deliveries.

The programme will allow the partnership to complete a comprehensive analysis into existing cancer service delivery, including comprehensive evidence-based review through local engagement.

The results will potentially shape changes to cancer services and pathways for patients in the area. When results are known, Macmillan will work with NHS Dumfries and Galloway to support and possibly fund the implementation of the improvement plans.

Cancer services in Dumfries and Galloway are currently aligned with the East of Scotland Cancer Network (SCAN), meaning that people requiring specialist treatment outwith the region often go on to receive top quality care at the likes of the highly regarded Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

Dr Kenneth Donaldson, Dumfries & Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership medical director, said: “We are satisfied that the treatment and care being provided to people from Dumfries and Galloway is of an extremely high level and quality. But we also expect that the work undertaken through this 23-month programme will deliver some early results, informing and potentially altering approaches while this work is carried out.”

Nisreen Badiozzaman, Macmillan’s partnership manager, added: “Our £340,000 funding will facilitate an engagement programme with local people who have been through the cancer pathway. This means local cancer patients and their families will be able to share their experiences and knowledge to help us shape the future pathways and services. The increase in people being diagnosed with cancer coupled with the complexity of advancing treatments means Scotland’s cancer care system is facing unprecedented challenges. Our significant contribution is thanks to the continued support of people locally who work so hard to raise funds.”