Coronavirus (COVID-19): National Cancer Recovery Group


This group is no longer active. 

The National Cancer Recover Group (NCRG) has been commissioned until March 2023, under the authority of Jeanne Freeman, the previous Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, to provide national oversight of cancer services during the recovery phase of the NHS.

Key purpose of the group

  • reporting and oversight of national cancer governance groups
  • co-ordination at interfaces between screening, diagnostics, treatment and other relevant groups to ensure robust recommendations
  • national arbitration on overall clinical prioritisations
  • oversight of data and modelling work
  • advising patient and public communications
  • informal advice on national screening programme recovery
  • monitoring of National Cancer Plan implementation
  • take responsibility for agreeing appropriate national responses to any further surges in COVID-19
  • support the resolution of escalated risks/ issues from regional and Board level, and ultimately function as the arbiter in relation to related policy decisions

NCRG representation includes

  • NHS Scotland Chief Executive
  • Senior Medical Officer for Cancer
  • Clinical Leads for South East Scotland Cancer Network (SCAN), North Cancer Alliance (NCA) and West of Scotland Cancer Network (WoSCAN)
  • Regional Cancer Network Managers
  • Scottish Clinical Imaging Network
  • Haematology
  • Radiotherapy
  • Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT)
  • Surgery
  • Scottish Pathology Network
  • Scottish Primary Care Cancer Group (SPCCG)
  • Chief Scientist Office
  • National Service Directory
  • Pharmacy
  • NHS National Services Scotland Screening
  • Patient Representative
  • Scottish Cancer Coalition Representative
  • Scottish Cancer Network
  • National Services Division (NSD) National Medical Advisor
  • SEND / Scottish Cancer Lead Nurse Consultant
  • Endoscopy


The NCRG are responsible for the oversight of several sub-groups:

SACT Programme Board

SACT PB is responsible for driving national Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT) policy for cancer services in a ‘once for Scotland approach’ and maintain oversight of progress against SACT actions included within the National Cancer Plan.

Radiotherapy Programme Board (RTPB)

The RTPB provides oversight for the delivery of actions set out in the National Radiotherapy Plan and actions in the National Cancer Plan related to radiotherapy such as the expansion of a peer review.

National Cancer Data Programme Board (NCDPB)

The NCDPB is responsible for advising on and enabling data to support the recovery of cancer services and oversight of the integration of data reporting with current/evolving regional and national information systems. 

National Cancer Quality Steering Group (NCQSG)

The NCQSG is responsible for developing and agreeing a strategic prioritised work, aligned to the actions set out in the Better Cancer Care and the Healthcare Quality Strategy. This will shortly be superseded by the new Cancer Quality and Improvement Programme Board which will have a greater focus on reviewing quality performance indicators and supporting cancer improvement activities.

Scottish Cancer Network

The network is responsible for developing a system for the production, review and hosting of National Clinical Management Pathways and  overseeing improvement of the existing National Managed Clinical Networks.  

Transforming Cancer Care Executive Group

This group is responsible for implementing the appropriate governance framework to support the successful delivery of the Transforming Cancer Care programme.


There will be two groups working within the NCRG. The core group will be made up of a small number of key representatives who will meet weekly and liaise between meetings and react swiftly to emerging issues.

The wider main group will provide advice and input across a range of professions and geographies as well as supporting the dissemination of agreed guidance.

Core group members

  • Chair/Scottish Cancer Taskforce Chair
  • Vice Chair / Senior Medical Officer (Oncology)
  • Scottish Government - Cancer Policy
  • Scottish Government - Cancer Access
  • Scottish Government - Diagnostics
  • Scottish Government - Recovery
  • Scottish Government - Testing
  • Cancer Network Manager Representative (rotating)
  • Cancer Network Clinical Lead North Cancer Alliance (NCA)
  • Cancer Network Clinical Lead South East Scotland Cancer Network (SCAN)
  • National Cancer Treatment Group Chair / Cancer Network Clinical Lead West of Scotland Cancer Network (WoSCAN)
  • Radiotherapy Lead Representative
  • Data, Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT), and UK Links
  • SACT Lead Representative
  • Primary Care
  • Screening
  • Nursing
  • Patient Representative
  • Pharmacy
  • National Services Division (NSD) National Medical Advisor
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