Labour’s latest attempt to exploit NHS Tayside breast cancer treatment has no basis

As the above reveals, only 7 out of 150, 4.6%, patients had to go elsewhere for treatment. I don’t have the stats but might this be fewer cases transferred, than other boards such as, say, Border, Highlands, or some trusts in England?

This Labour campaign is a continuation of a long-running trail going back to 2019 when BBC Scotland’s Lisa Summers reported NHS Tayside’s Oncology Department to be ‘dysfunctional’ and they attempted to use the story, like hyenas after an elderly wildebeest, to get the then Health Secretary, Shona Robinson, sacked.

In January this year, when the Dundee Courier tried to ‘dig up the corpse’ of the ‘dead donkey’, I summarised the weakness of their case:

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.

Sarwar’s claim that cancer chemotherapy has collapsed is based upon another huffy outburst by non-executive board member, Dr Norman Pratt, a former consultant geneticist, not an oncologist.


9 thoughts on “Labour’s latest attempt to exploit NHS Tayside breast cancer treatment has no basis

  1. If politicians keep on attacking the SNHS they will be gone. The NHS saving lives everyday. Appreciated by all. The appalling politicians a big fail. The Westminster toxic mess.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarwar the Ambulance Chaser !
    He would be better at home polishing his Holyrood Politician of the Year award
    ( pause for laughter ) as he is totally wasting his time ( and everyone else’s ) trying to trip up the FM ?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dancing to the tune of their masters in London, in order to frighten people, and undermine the Scottish NHS, while their masters will be going along with Tory plans to privatise the NHS in England, lock, stock and barrel. I saw that YouTuber Max Robespierre (hater of Tory ‘scum’ but can’t bear to slag off Labour no matter what they do or don’t do!) was posting a pic on twitter, of Sarwar, Cole Hamilton and Dross along with the First Minister, something to do with ‘Save the Children’ charity. Max had an emoji of well, a cheesing smile, as if this was such a brilliant show of solidarity. Don’t the BritNat parties love a good photo op with a charity, when their own parties are driving so many children and their families into poverty, starvation, and even destitution. The hypocrisy is lost on some it seems. 😦


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