To mark Action Mesothelioma Day today (5 July), a new approach has been launched in Scotland which will optimise care for patients across the country affected by this disease, which is a type of cancer associated with exposure to asbestos.
The Scottish Mesothelioma Network is comprised of a team of health care professionals from across Scotland who will collaborate to share best practice and provide high quality clinical care, information and support to all patients, wherever they live in the country. The network will also ensure all patients have equitable access to potentially life-changing clinical trials.
Leading charities, Macmillan Cancer Support and Mesothelioma UK, are working with local NHS boards across Scotland to fund and deliver this service, which will enhance the care and support provided to people affected by mesothelioma. The country has some of the highest rates of the disease in the world so this new service will have a great impact.
The new service will provide patients with a dedicated Mesothelioma Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), who will provide enhanced support locally for patients and carers. Patients will also have a dedicated Mesothelioma Lead Clinician to improve clinical care and access to clinical trials.
Network staff, based in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Dundee and Aberdeen will dial into a weekly Multi Disciplinary Team meeting to review all patients and feedback clear, high-quality treatment and care options including clinical trial information. This approach aims to speed up diagnosis and treatment of patients wherever they live and to ensure that optimal care is delivered as close to home as possible.
Dr Kevin Blyth, Consultant Respiratory Physician at the Queen Elizabeth in Glasgow, and Network Lead, commented: “The new service will provide a weekly forum for clinical teams from across Scotland to share expertise, develop high quality care plans, and provide increased access to potentially life-changing clinical trials to patients wherever they live in the country. It will also mean that all Scottish patients with Mesothelioma will now get access to a dedicated Mesothelioma Clinical Nurse Specialist and evidence based, streamlined pathways of care will be developed”.
“The Network will gather mesothelioma specific patient information which will be used to audit the care provided so that continuous improvements can be made with the aim of improving outcomes and the quality of life of our patients.”
The new network also aims to build on existing links between acute services and charity support organisations to ensure that patients and their families across Scotland are being offered the most up to date benefits and legal advice, as well as emotional and practical support.
For further media information please contact:
Rebecca Demarco, Communications Manager
Macmillan Cancer Support
0131 260 3739/07968 731 703