11 July 2012
Macmillan Cancer Support responds to the Government’s Care and Support White Paper published today which states that the Government supports the principle of free social care at end of life.
Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
'We are very pleased that the Government has recognised the importance of free social care for those at the end of their life . This would help more people to die at home if they so wish. Not only is this right for patients, but it would help avoid unnecessary costs to the NHS. However, the commitment  made today is just the first step.
'The vast majority (73%) of cancer patients would prefer to die at home  but currently only 27% are able to do so . This country simply cannot afford to continue to allow people to die in hospital against their wishes.'
For further information, please contact:
Claire Keuls, Media & PR Officer
020 7840 4872 (out of hours 07801 307 068)
Notes to Editors:
1 Department of Health (2012) Caring for our future: reforming care and support
2 Tom Hughes-Hallett, Prof Alan Craft, Catherine Davies (2011) Independent Palliative Care Funding Review. This report recommended that once a patient reaches the end of life stage, and is put on an end of life locality register, all health and social care should be funded by the state and free at the point of delivery.
3 The Government has committed to using the Palliative Care Funding Review pilots to collect the data needed to assess free social care at the end of life.
4 Statistic taken from Macmillan February 2010 online survey of 1,019 UK adults living with cancer. Seventy-three percent of people with cancer said they would prefer to die at home if all their concerns about dying at home (such as access to pain relief, round the clock care, and support for their family and carers) were addressed.
5 Office for National Statistics. Mortality statistics: deaths registered in 2010 in England and Wales.
(Accessed November 2011)
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Cancer is the toughest fight most of us will ever face. But you don’t have to go through it alone. The Macmillan team is with you every step of the way.
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