23 May 2011
Commenting on provisional figures from the NHS Information Centre showing the percentage of carers providing 50 hours or more care a week has more than doubled in nine years, Simon Oberst, Director of Improving Cancer Services at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
'The number of carers providing care for 50 hours or more a week is absolutely shocking because we know all too often they don’t get the support they need to maintain their own health and wellbeing. Carers save the economy a fortune and deserve proper recognition and support.
'People caring for someone with cancer aren’t routinely identified by the NHS so don’t get sufficient support and information. Even when carers are referred to social care services for assessment they often do not get services which are flexible and responsive enough to their specific needs. According to our research, only 1 in 5 cancer patients feel their carers’ needs were met by health and social care services
'Macmillan supports carers of people with cancer through a helpline, a network of carers support services and through information centres and benefits advice services located across the UK.'
For further information please contact:
Rebecca Openshaw - Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
Tel: 020 7840 4699
Notes to Editors:
Over half of cancer carers feel anxious at least some of the time, more than any other type of carer. (Health and wellbeing, 2008)
Macmillan’s 2006 Worried Sick report found that 24% of people providing care to cancer patients felt abandoned and 61% did not receive information, advice and support on the emotional aspects of a cancer diagnosis, while only 1 in 5 of the cancer patients we surveyed felt that their carers’ needs were met by the health and social care services.
We provide a handbook written by carers for carers called Hello and how are you?, learning and development opportunities for carers, and access to self-help and support.
For information and support carers can call Macmillan freephone 0808 808 0000 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk/carers
 Macmillan’s 2006 Worried Sick report