Data on the impact that COVID-19 is having on the delivery of Systematic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT) is now available from a Public Health Scotland (PHS) dashboard.

SACT is a collective term for drugs targeting the whole body and include chemotherapy as well as other drugs such as immunotherapy and targeted agents.

The SACT activity dashboard, part of the Wider Impacts Dashboard, provides an overview of the changes in the delivery of SACT in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic. It draws on data collected by the Scottish Cancer Registry and Intelligence Service (SCRIS), a major health intelligence initiative co-produced with the Innovative Healthcare Delivery Programme at University of Edinburgh.

It also presents numbers of patients who were treated with SACT and compares them to equivalent numbers prior to the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020.

Claire Sweeney, Director of Place and Wellbeing at PHS, said:

“A key focus for PHS is contributing to health outcomes that improve healthy life expectancy and reduce premature mortality, as well as reducing inequalities between the two. One of the ways we’re working to do this is by looking at how service planning and delivery can be improved through the use of data and intelligence as we know these have an effect on health outcomes, especially for cancer patients and their quality of life. Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SACT delivery is crucial for a full appreciation of the short and long-term consequences for cancer patients and for planning future cancer care.

“This data shows the impact COVID-19 lockdowns had on the delivery of SACT in general, but also how it has impacted more on certain patient groups and treatment types, and how the NHS has responded to the pandemic. This is an integral part of Scotland’s cancer recovery plan (external website) and it allows us to monitor treatment activity identifying pressures on the system. Due to the timeliness of the data, it can also act as an early warning system.”

The SACT activity can be found in the “cancer” tab in the COVID-19 Wider Impacts Dashboard which presents the indirect impact that COVID-19 is having on individuals’ health and their use of healthcare services.

View the Wider Impacts Dashboard

Last updated: 06 October 2022