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Macmillan knows that people living with cancer and their carers have social care needs as well as health needs. They tell us they need emotional and practical support and financial help and advice throughout their cancer journey.
There are currently 1.6 million people in England who are living with a diagnosis of cancer. Cancer must move up the agenda of social care so that they are not left to cope with the consequences of cancer alone. Ciarán Devane, CEO Macmillan Cancer Support.
There are currently 1.6 million people in England who are living with a diagnosis of cancer. Cancer must move up the agenda of social care so that they are not left to cope with the consequences of cancer alone.
Ciarán Devane, CEO Macmillan Cancer Support.
People living with cancer and their carers have great difficulty obtaining the social care that meets their needs. Over a third of people (35%) do not feel confident about how and where to access social care support. The lack of high-quality social care for people living with cancer means that carers are required to take on substantial responsibilities, which has a knock-on effect on their health, well-being and financial status.
Consequently, people’s needs can escalate, resulting in costly and inappropriate hospital admissions. Macmillan commissioned research to find out why cancer is not a priority for social care services, to inform both the Government’s reform of the adult social care system and the development of Macmillan’s own services.
For more information about social care for people affected by cancer, see our social care report and other useful documents in the key documents box below.
Being at home made the situation easier for us to cope with. It was comforting to know Emile was in the place he wanted to be and surrounded by people he knew and loved. Liz, campaign supporter
Being at home made the situation easier for us to cope with. It was comforting to know Emile was in the place he wanted to be and surrounded by people he knew and loved.
Liz, campaign supporter
With the right support, 73% of people with cancer would prefer to die at home, yet only 27% actually do.
At present, NHS-provided care is free at the point of need while social care services are means-tested. This means that people with assets above only £23,250 have to pay for their social care.
Also, the process for accessing state-funded social care is complicated and lengthy, and is carried out separately from the healthcare system. For patients who have maybe only weeks to live this fragmentation leads to delays that can prevent them from dying in the place of their choosing.
We therefore believe that people in the last months of life, who are on an end of life care register, should receive free social care. This would help them to die at home if they so choose.
Find more information about our campaign for free social care| or join our campaign for 24/7 community nursing| for end of life cancer patients.
Read the recent White Paper| on end of life care on the Department of Health website.
The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE) represents 1,700 of the most senior executives and managers in UK local government.
Since 2010, Macmillan Cancer Support and SOLACE have worked together to raise awareness of Macmillan's activities, and are developing a number of partnerships with local authorities. These partnerships will focus on re-shaping services for cancer patients and their families, developing innovative local services and better co-ordinating care and support in communities.
For more information, visit the SOLACE website|.
Tes Smith – Social care programme manager
Tes joined Macmillan in April 2012 as Social Care Programme Manager. Previously Tes worked with the National End of Life Care Programme supporting the implementation of the Department of Health's End of Life Care Strategy.
Fiona Smith – Social care project officer
Fiona provides frontline contact for all social care, social worker and carer enquiries.
Charlotte leads on Macmillan’s programme of support for carers|, which includes practical and emotional support, influencing activity (including Carers Week|), user involvement, and information for carers.
Macmillan is a member of the Dying Matters Coalition led by the National Council for Palliative Care, which has the specific aim of raising the profile of death and dying. We continue to promote this work and equivalent work in the Celtic Nations through our website and newsletters.
Macmillan are currently in the early stages of a campaign calling for access to free social care |for people who are on an end of life care register. To strengthen our case to Government we need to inform them of the impact that having or not having access to social care support at the end of life has on individuals, carers and families. To this end we really need your help to identify some examples to strengthen our case with evidence.
Please download and complete the case study template| and email or fax back to us at email@example.com| or 0207 840 7841
Read the full Macmillan Social Care Report [PDF, 381Kb]
Read the More than a Million Report about UK cancer carers [PDF, 4.4Mb]
Download our report on Social workers - an evidence review, October 2010 [PDF, 72Kb]
If you have any questions about Macmillan we would love to hear from you| .
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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