25 September 2013
Macmillan Cancer Support welcomes Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham’s announcement today at the Labour party conference that the party would work towards making social care free for those at the end of life if they win the next election. Gus Baldwin, Head of Public Affairs at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
'We are delighted the Labour Party has reaffirmed its commitment to support the terminally ill, their carers and families by providing free social care for everyone at the end of life if it forms the next Government.
'With the right support 73% of cancer patients would prefer to die in their own home, but shockingly only 29% actually do. Social care plays a crucial role in supporting people to be cared for and die at home, but not everyone can afford it and far too many end up in hospital. Scrapping the means-test for people at the end life would lift a hefty financial burden from many people and save the NHS money by stopping those who want to be cared for at home having to spend their last days in expensive hospital beds.
'It is now time for the current Government to match the Labour Party’s commitment and offer people a real choice about where they are cared for in their final weeks. We want free social care for everyone at the end of life to be implemented before the end of this Parliament in 2015.'
For further information, please contact:
Claire Keuls, Senior Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7842 4872 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
About Macmillan Cancer Support
More than one in three of us will get cancer. For most of us it will be the toughest fight we ever face. And the feelings of isolation and loneliness that so many people experience make it even harder.
But you don’t have to go through it alone. The Macmillan team is with you every step of the way.
We are the nurses and therapists helping you through treatment. The experts on the end of the phone. The advisers telling you which benefits you’re entitled to. The volunteers giving you a hand with the everyday things. The campaigners improving cancer care. The community there for you online, any time. The supporters who make it all possible.
Together, we are all Macmillan Cancer Support.