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Hume calls for action to help cancer patients hit by IT failures

October 2, 2013 5:26 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP todayJim HumeJim Hume sought assurances that chemotherapy patients affected by IT problems at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will be promptly treated and any back-log will be remedied by the health board.

In an emergency question to the Health Secretary, Mr Hume welcomed the confirmation of a full inquiry into IT systems across Scotland. Health Secretary Alex Neil confirmed that a full review would take place and addressed Mr Hume's concerns on delays to chemotherapy treatments.

Commenting after the emergency question, Mr Hume said:

"I'm pleased that the Health Secretary has agreed to conduct a full review of IT services at health boards across Scotland. But the patients affected by the problems at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde need assurances that immediate steps will be taken to address delays in treatment.

"I was disappointed that the Health Secretary did not have information to hand over the specific treatment times for the 48 patients whose chemotherapy treatment was postponed. Those patients will want confirmation that they will be treated as a matter of urgency. We need guarantees that this will happen. Whilst the Health Secretary informed me that he has been given a total assurance that patients will be treated at the earliest opportunity, this must translate into action.

"Any back-log in treatments and appointments must be swiftly dealt with by the health board.

"The review is vital if we are to avoid another scenario where hundreds of patients are told at the last minute that the treatment they've been waiting weeks for has been cancelled. It is for the Health Secretary to get a grip of this and ensure we do not see this repeated at any health board in Scotland."