Finlay Carson MSP

Galloway and West Dumfries

MSPs Support for Maggie's Centre

FMQ 90217

 

Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their families and friends, following the ideas about cancer care originally laid out by local resident the late Maggie Keswick Jencks. Built in the grounds of NHS hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are places with professional staff on hand to offer the practical advice and support people need

Finlay Carson MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries said: “Very few families are not affected in some way or another by cancer, and if you have ever relied on the Maggie’s experience then I am sure you will agree that the service is hugely valuable to both patients and their family and friends”

Over 10,000 people are living with cancer in Dumfries and Galloway and there is overwhelming international evidence that the residents of Dumfries and Galloway should have the opportunity to access a Maggie’s Centre locally. I have pledged my assistance to help achieve this goal.

Local MSPs, who are already involved in and working towards a Maggie’s centre for Dumfries, along with representatives from Maggie’s, Professor David Clark and members of the wider Support Group are coming together as a collective early next year in Parliament to discuss the matter further.

This is not just about bricks and mortar, this is about real support for individuals, their families and our communities”

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “There is real momentum building behind Maggie’s desire to establish a centre in Dumfries and to reach out to support those affected by cancer across Dumfries and Galloway. It really would be a case of Maggie’s coming home.

Not only was Dumfries the home of Maggie Jencks, the co-founder of Maggie’s Centres with her husband Charles Jencks, but many people from our region benefit from the invaluable support from Maggie’s in Edinburgh and Glasgow especially when they are receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. I know from speaking to Maggie’s how keen they are to build on this support but at a more local level.

There have been discussions between Maggie’s and NHS Dumfries and Galloway for some time around proposals being developed that would complement what is already available locally, and local MSPs are keen to come together to add our backing to finding a way forward as soon as possible. Over the next few decades the number of cancer patients is expected to increase significantly which is why it is essential that NHS Dumfries and Galloway work with local and national charities to continually look at ways to build and increase the existing support available in our region. A Maggie’s Centre would undoubtedly be a fantastic addition to that support.”

Emma Harper MSP, said;

“I met Professor Clark in Dumfries last week to discuss long-running efforts to bring a Maggie’s Centre to D&G. This would be a great benefit for all persons and families across the region - providing drop-in facilities and connecting people using technology through community outreach work.

“A new centre opened in Cardiff in April and oncologists are already reporting that they are seeing less of their patients because they are going to the Centre for advice and support.

“This is an issue which extends beyond party politics and I therefore look forward to working with Professor Clark and my South Scotland MSP colleagues to work to bring a Maggie’s Centre to Dumfries.”