27 January 2010
Responding to a report from The King’s Fund calling for every patient nearing end of life to be given access to 24/7 care, Ciaran Devane, Chief Executive at Macmillan Cancer Support said:
'There’s an urgent need for the NHS to support cancer patients at or nearing the end of their lives with access to round-the-clock care; supporting them wherever they wish to spend their final months.
'A lack of access to community nursing can lead to problems with planning end of life care, symptom control or support for carers and without these in place, patients are much less likely to have as good a death as they want.
'Despite preferring to die at home, less than a quarter (24%) 1 of cancer patients actually do - most die in hospital (48%) 1, and so we welcome any move that genuinely supports cancer patients to die where they choose.'
For further information, please contact:
Helen Champion, Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7840 4689 (Out of Hours: 07801 307 068)
Notes to Editors
1 NAO End of Life Care report 2008
Half a million people die in England each year. Over a quarter (27%) of these deaths are caused by cancer. Cancer Research UK
About Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. Working alongside people affected by cancer, Macmillan works to improve cancer care. One in three of us will get cancer. Two million of us are living with and beyond cancer. For answers, support or just a chat, visit www.macmillan.org.uk or call Macmillan on 0808 808 00 00 - no matter what your question.