Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): clinical guidelines for cancer treatment

Last updated: 16 Nov 2021 - see all updates
Published: 21 Dec 2020

Clinical guidelines agreed by the National Cancer Treatment Response Group to be used in discussion with patients on a case-by-case basis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

21 Dec 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19): clinical guidelines for cancer treatment

These clinical guidelines have been agreed by the Scottish Government’s National Cancer Treatment Response Group. These guidelines are to be used in discussion with patients on a case-by-case basis. The patients should be provided with clear information about any changes in their treatment and why this change has taken place (updated 20 April 2020).  

They align with the majority of similar guidance produced by NHS England: Clinical guide for the management of cancer patients during the coronavirus pandemic (Publications Ref 001559). Variations to these have been agreed in relation to some aspects of SACT, to reflect existing differing service environments in Scotland.

These guidelines will be reviewed and revised frequently over the coming weeks and months.

The risk of COVID-19 is a new factor in harm and benefit considerations for cancer treatment. Increasing prevalence of the virus will compound this. Already, individual cancer treatment decisions are changing to reflect this, in consultation with risk assessments and the expressed preferences of patients. Treatment pathways will continue to alter significantly, and necessarily, to continue to do no harm. 

In that context, vital cancer treatments are expected to continue, and patients can be assured that their clinical teams will continue to offer the best treatment options for them. 
Any media enquiries to individual boards about any of this group’s work should be referred directly to SG. 


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First published: 21 Dec 2020 Last updated: 16 Nov 2021 -