I appreciate how distressing cancer must be for young people and their families, and it is vital that young people affected by this terrible disease get the care and support they need. Cancer can affect all areas of a person’s life, including finances, and it is important that the support that patients receive reflects that fact.
In Scotland, healthcare is a devolved matter, and therefore responsibility for providing for the travel costs of young people with cancer rests with the Scottish Government. Help with necessary travel costs is available for people who, or whose partner or parents, receive certain benefits or are on low incomes. However, there is currently no blanket provision of travel costs for young people with cancer.
I understand that NHS England, which is overseen by the UK Government, has stated that work is underway to review the service specifications for children and young people with cancer. This is welcome, and I hope that the Scottish Government will follow suit and look into how the travel burden for young cancer patients and their families can be reduced.