Wednesday 24th June 2015
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Summer 2015
Across the UK, over one million people look after a family member or friend with cancer
Looking after someone with cancer can affect a person’s own health and well-being. Yet half of people in this position don’t receive any support with caring, and half don’t see themselves as ‘carers’. As a result they may miss out on vital support, including local authority carer’s assessments (the gateway to statutory support). Currently only 5% receive a local authority carer’s assessment, but this may soon change. In England, since April 2015 and under the new Care Act, all carers are entitled to a carer’s assessment.
The Care Act
In England, the Care Act replaces most current laws regarding carers and people being cared for. It outlines how local authorities should carry out assessments, determine who is eligible for support, and charge for care. Under the act, local authorities and health bodies must work together to identify and support carers.
In your role, you may be in touch with carers on a daily basis, so you are ideally placed to identify and signpost them to support – and we are in an ideal position to help you.
Guidance for you
We’ve designed some practical guidance to enable quick and easy signposting to services, such as a local authority carers assessment, support from Macmillan, and local carers’ centres. The guidance is available online and in hard copies.
Visit macmillan.org.uk/professionalresources. And you can also pass on Macmillan’s support offers for carers through our Do You Look After Someone With Cancer? leaflet.
The other articles in the In Focus section outline examples of the types of support services you can signpost carers to, and the positive impact these services can have on meeting the needs of carers: Macmillan Excellence Award winner Marnie Enever explains how a volunteer service is helping to identify carers. Paula Hall explains how her service in South Wales is meeting holistic needs. And Carers Support Programme Manager Charlotte Argyle talks about how two Macmillan partnership programmes are identifying and supporting young cancer carers – and how you can help.
Carers Support Programme Manager
Macmillan Cancer Support