THE Scottish Government has pledged £9million to set up a cancer service similar to one pioneered in Glasgow.

A £100 million strategy setting out services to provide cancer care in Scotland over the next five to 10 years was announced yesterday by the Health Secretary.

The plan unveiled by Shona Robison contains more than 50 actions to tackle the disease by improving prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and after care.

Among them is a scheme to ensure better support for people with cancer and their families, modelled on a Macmillan Cancer Support project trialled in Glasgow and first revealed by the Evening Times.

Head of Macmillan Cancer Support in Scotland, Janice Preston, said: “We are particularly pleased to see a £9 million fund has been set aside to fund support services modelled on Macmillan’s Improving the Cancer Journey project.

"We hope to see the huge success of this project replicated across Scotland to make sure no cancer patient in Scotland misses out on vital support."

The Beating Cancer: Ambition and Action strategy includes £50 million for radiotherapy equipment and to support recruitment and training, an additional £10 million to support swift access to diagnostics for people with suspected cancer, and £5 million to support waiting times performance.

Also covered is £5 million to target reducing inequalities in screening uptake, £7.5 million to support improvements in surgical treatments, and £3.5 million to drive improvements across the palliative care sector.

The Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey service in Glasgow assesses the medical, emotional, financial and practical needs of patients and helps them find the support they need.

It has now been highlighted as best practice for supporting cancer patients through all aspects of their illness and treatment.

Ms Robison said the strategy will serve as a blueprint for the future of cancer services in Scotland.

"Cancer services have come a long way over the past 10 years, with cancer mortality rates down 11%, however we know more needs to be done," she said.

"Through this strategy we are aiming to reduce health inequalities and improve the experience of and outcomes for people with cancer across Scotland.

"This strategy sets out our actions on detecting cancer early, with a particular focus on reducing inequalities in screening. It also sets out how we will invest in the provision of good quality, sustainable treatment and support for people to live well with and beyond cancer."