Macmillan supporters Nikki and Marie cared for their loves ones at the end of their life. They wanted to make sure that their mother and brother were as comfortable as possible during this time and die in a place and manner of their choosing.
But too often challenges in accessing the right support at the end of life stop this from happening. And for many people this choice just isn’t available.
Nikki and Marie’s experience of caring for their loved ones moved them to write an open letter to the Chancellor, George Osborne. In the letter they asked the Chancellor to keep the Government’s manifesto promise and fully fund improvements to end of life care.
We want end of life care to be fully funded, and 20,000 of you agree with us.
Thank you to 20,000 campaigners who have shown their support by signing Nikki and Marie’s open letter. On 28th October Nikki and Marie took their letter to parliament. We then delivered your signatures to Downing Street, to show the Chancellor we want his commitment in the Governments spending review.
End of life coalition campaigners outside parliament
Campaigners hand in open letter with 20,000 signatures
Along with other charities working on improving end of life care we held an event in Parliament urging MPs and Peers to show their support. At the event carers’ shared their personal experience of looking after someone at the end of their life and we asked politicians to sign a giant version of Nikki and Marie’s letter, as well as tweet their support for the campaign.
Nikki and Marie with a copy of their letter signed by MPs
Nikki and Marie talk to MPs and Peers about their experience
Find out more about Nikki’s personal experience caring for her mother at the end of her life and why she feels so strongly that access to choice is hugely important in her Huffington Post blog.
We’ll be continuing to influence funding decisions around improvements to end of life care and eagerly await the outcome of the Governments spending review on 25th November.
No one should face cancer alone, particularly during their final days. We thank you for your support.
Why end of life shouldn't mean end of choice
Nikki's story and why this matters
'It was my mother’s dearest wish to die at home. I totally agree that people should be able to choose where they want to die but it doesn’t end there. Family and friends need to be properly supported to help people die well. Caring for someone who is dying is a 24/7 job. It’s stressful, physically demanding and I had to learn as I was going along.
To enable choice at the end of life the Government needs to fund services to improve end of life care. Together we have shown the Government how important this is.'
Why this is important for Marie
'My brother Dave didn’t want to go into a hospice, we assumed he would be able to die at home. But I don’t think any of us knew how difficult it was going to be to make it happen. Getting the support at home was tough.
I think the Government needs to do more to improve end of life care so everyone can live and die in the place and manner of their choosing. This is what matters most to people.'
We know end-of-life care has to change
To find out about access to end of life care in the UK, we commissioned a report about the social care needs of people with cancer [PDF, 904 Kb].
We found that for many people, end of life care is not good enough.
Almost half (44%) of people living with terminal cancer rely solely on family and friends for practical or personal support.
But more than 84% of these people could, and should, qualify for formal social care support.
People with cancer should never feel alone and unsupported. This is our chance to help improve end of life care. Over 20,000 supporters have signed our letter to demand change.
You can read more about this report and what Macmillan are asking for in our press release.
We're here for you
If you're looking after someone with cancer we are here for you. Get information, support and advice.
You can find information and advice about coping with the news. We can also tell you about the practical things you might find it helpful to think about.