Peter Macleod, Chief Social Work Officer for Renfrewshire Council and TCAT board member, talks about how the programme is changing the cancer care system and lives

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The Transforming Care After Treatment (TCAT) programme is changing the lives of people affected by cancer and their families across the face of Scotland right now.

The core of the programme is to ensure the best and most complete care and support for people after their main treatment programme for cancer has been completed.

TCAT recognises that people’s lives are often profoundly affected by their diagnosis and treatment. There changes can relate to finances, physical and mental health, employment and relationships.

The TCAT approach is to provide a holistic needs assessment to the individual and to provide services that assist them in moving forward. This can include financial and employment advice and support in relation to physical and mental health.

Importantly the TCAT approach creates a bridge between treatment and the range of support services available from the health, local authority and financial and voluntary sectors.

All too often in the past, the end of treatment signalled the end of support. This was despite the huge changes people had experienced in their lives, following their diagnosis of cancer.

Macmillan and their partners have recognised that ongoing care and support, tailored to meet individual needs, is a critical part of that journey on the road to recovery.

I have met with and heard the voices of many who talk about the huge benefits from TCAT services. They speak of these new supports and services as often having helped them to rebuild their lives.

TCAT is one of the most powerful transformation programmes I have been involved in. It has successfully changed whole systems, culture and practice towards improved care for people.

TCAT should be celebrated as an excellent example of how change can happen when everyone is united in common cause-and how lives can change for the better as a result.

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