Moray SNP News
Moray MSP, Richard Lochhead, has discovered that some cancer patients in his constituency are entitled to NHS Grampian funded beds at CLAN Haven in Aberdeen, while others must pay £30 per night. The discrepancy came to light when an elderly cancer patient from rural Moray, with a post code prefix of AB, contacted Mr Lochhead to explain that she had been told she would have to pay for her own accommodation for the duration of her treatment due to her post code beginning AB as opposed to IV. The result of course is that many cancer patients, who are often elderly and undergoing radiotherapy, cannot afford to stay in Aberdeen and aren’t on a bus route either.
CLAN Haven have confirmed that this is in fact the case. They advised that NHS Grampian fund 12 beds at CLAN Haven in Aberdeen for patients undergoing radiotherapy but that these beds are only for people with IV post codes or from Orkney or Shetland. They further confirmed that this didn’t use to be the case but is a result of a change to NHS Grampian’s policy in recent years.
Commenting Richard Lochhead said:
“I’m concerned to learn that a cancer patient undergoing radiotherapy treatment from, for example, Fochabers, which has a direct bus route to Aberdeen, can stay at CLAN Haven free of charge for the duration of their treatment, yet, one of my constituents from the likes of Glenlivet, where there is no public transport to Aberdeen, would have to self-fund! This is an incredible situation and fails to take people’s circumstances into account.
“I understand a typical stay can last 5 weeks, sometimes longer, which could rack up bills of over £1000 – this is simply unaffordable for some people and creates a post code lottery for radiotherapy patients.
"I have written to the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian urging that the matter be looked at and changes made to ensure a fairer system. It seems very unfair that people living a mere few miles apart could go for the same treatment and that one could face no cost while the other faced a large bill.”
Pictured is Richard recently wearing a 'Unity Band' marking World Cancer Day.