The review will cover the scope and arrangements that are in place across Scotland for the provision of financial support for patient travel, where such travel is necessary. It will include consideration of specific issues that have been highlighted to me by members, including Dr Allan, in relation to constituents’ concerns. It will be undertaken early in the new year, and I will provide further updates in the chamber as it progresses.
Islanders who are going through something as traumatic as a cancer diagnosis need support. In too many cases in the past, their loved ones have not been able to be present with them. Since the patient escort working group was formed last year to examine those issues, there has been a marked decrease in the number of complaints concerning the issue. Will the Scottish Government’s review consider those issues, and will there be an opportunity for the working group to feed into that work?
I am grateful to Dr Allan because he has ensured, over this period, that I fully understand the issues that are involved. I am pleased that there has been an improvement of the type that both he and I have sought. The review will absolutely consider the issues that members have raised, and it will include the matter of escorts. I expect the work of the Western Isles patient escort working group to be considered fully as part of the review.