8 May 2013
Responding to the Care Bill announced today as part of the Queen’s Speech, Mike Hobday, Director of Policy and Research at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
'Macmillan welcomes the Care Bill which we expect will place a legal duty on all local authorities to assess carers’ needs and provide support to eligible carers.
'We can no longer turn a blind eye to the fact that the current system of identifying and signposting carers to support is failing. Only 5% of the estimated 900,000 people currently looking after someone with cancer in England have had a carers’ assessment by their local authority which gives them access to vital support1. Without this, many cancer carers could suffer with physical and mental ill-health and struggle to cope with the demands of their role.
'However it’s not just councils that need to identify cancer carers, the NHS must play a key role too, as they often come into contact with them first via the person with cancer.
'As cancer is no longer necessarily a death sentence, this means there is a growing need for people to care for a loved-one with cancer. We are urging the Government and NHS England to review the current system so cancer carers now and in the future are not left completely isolated.'
For further information, please contact:
Rebecca Openshaw, Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7840 4699 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
1 Research carried out via Ipsos MORI’s face-to-face omnibus survey of the general public. Fieldwork conducted between 20 May and 25 August 2011. 18,449 members of the UK public aged 15+ were screened to identify current carers of someone with cancer. In total 386 fitted eligibility criteria and were interviewed in more depth. Results have been weighted to be representative of the UK adult population. Figures quoted in this release relate to England only.
From the sample of the public interviewed, 2% of the English population aged 15+ were identified as currently caring for someone with cancer (using the ‘carer’ definition outlined below). Converted to a population estimate (using ONS 2010 Mid Year Population estimates) this equates to 905,000 adults aged 15+. As a sample of people were interviewed rather than the whole population, this estimate could lie within a range calculated to be 800,000 – 1,010,000.
People currently supporting someone with cancer were defined as carers for the purposes of this research if they provided more than five hours of care a week (‘care’ was determined by asking them if they did any of a range of activities for someone because they had cancer) or provided 1-4 hours of care a week but said it had an impact on their lives. It does not include those who provide care as their paid job or voluntary work. Please see the full report (here) for a more detailed explanation of how carers were identified as part of this research.
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