Angus North and Mearns MSP, Nigel Don, has offered his support to the implementation of a Prostate Cancer UK initiative in his constituency to help men with prostate cancer receive the best care and support.
The move comes as the initial findings of a new survey, commissioned by Prostate Cancer UK, suggests that support offered to men with the illness in Scotland is not meeting satisfactory standards.
The evidence so far highlights that despite recent improvements, there are gaps in the provision of information and support men with prostate cancer receive.
Initial findings from the survey show that:-
almost all men with prostate cancer questioned (91%) were not offered a written assessment and care plan,
three quarters (74%) were not given information on available financial help,
over half (55%)were not given written information on the type of cancer they had
and four out of five (59%) felt they did not have the potential side effects of treatment explained to them in an understandable way.
In a bid to help stamp out these inequalities, Prostate Cancer UK has produced a Quality Checklist to be used as a best practice guide for men and clinicians. The checklist sets out 15 national standards for care and support that Scottish men with prostate cancer should expect and demand, from the point of their diagnosis through to the end of their life.
Mr Don showed his support for the Quality Checklist at a recent campaigning event held at Holyrood where he met with people affected by prostate cancer from across the country.
Mr Don said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, yet the quality of care men receive in Scotland varies. It is incredibly important that we do all we can to ensure all men with prostate cancer get the care and support they need. I am therefore delighted to endorse Prostate Cancer UK’s Quality Checklist, and call on Tayside and Aberdeenshire NHS health boards to ensure it is adopted as soon as possible to help all men who are diagnosed with the disease.”
Dr Sarah Cant, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Our interim report highlights some worrying gaps in prostate cancer support in Scotland. This shows just how far we have to go before men in Scotland get the help and support they both expect and deserve. There are over 19,000 Scottish men living with prostate cancer, many of whom have to make difficult treatment choices or cope with tough side effects. It is vital that every man with prostate cancer has access to the world class information, care and support he needs and deserves if we are to help men have a better quality of life in the future.”
“We are delighted that Nigel Don has shown his support for men with prostate cancer by endorsing our Quality Checklist, and urgently call on health professionals and Health Boards to follow their lead. Men with prostate cancer deserve the best, and we’re absolutely determined that’s exactly what they are going to get.”
The charity is working closely with men and their families, healthcare providers, politicians and health professionals to ensure that the checklist is adopted and implemented throughout Scotland.
To view the Quality Checklist please visit www.prostatecanceruk.org/qualitycare