It’s now more than two years since BBC Scotland’s health correspondent, Lisa Summers, took it upon herself to judge NHS Tayside’s Oncology department to be ‘dysfunctional’ after the medics there tried reduced lower chemotherapy doses to help the patients cope with frankly terrifying side-effects.
On 24 December 2021, the Dundee Courier announced the relaunch of a campaign headed-up by Dr Norman Pratt, a consultant geneticist, not an oncologist, Miles Briggs and Jackie Baillie for another formal investigation of the events.
As with the ongoing attempts to keep two child deaths at the QEUH in the public, political sphere, this is a political campaign constructed by sympathetic media to keep pressure on the SNP Government despite the case being long-settled to the satisfaction of expert opinion..
In April 2019, we at TuS found official data showing that, regardless of the experiment with lower doses, NHS Tayside had an average breast cancer death rate and, indeed, a lower one than NHS Grampian:
On May 2, 2019, St Andrews Professor Mark Chaplain was clear about the research:
‘Women on the lower dose, the same as used in Tayside benefited from fewer side-effects and they did not suffer any inferior chemotherapy treatment because they had statistically speaking, the same recurrence rate and survival probability as the women on the higher dose.’
Finally, in August 2019, we could read:
Dr David Dunlop told NHS Tayside the deaths between 2016 and 2018 were not linked to treatment variation. NHS Tayside had been criticised for offering lower doses of the drugs than in the rest of Scotland. Dr Dunlop said two cases were not relevant, one refused chemotherapy, and the rest had very poor prognoses.