19 October 2011
Commenting on the interim findings of John Hills’ fuel poverty review, Laura Keely, Campaigns Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
'The alarming rate at which fuel poverty is escalating will result in more cancer patients freezing in cold homes.
‘It’s unacceptable that cancer patients, who feel the cold more and spend lots of time at home, are too scared to put the heating on due to rising energy bills. More help must be given so cancer patients can keep warm without the worry.
‘It’s encouraging however that the review has recognised that cancer patients are particularly vulnerable to fuel poverty. Currently, only around a quarter of people diagnosed with cancer qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment and only a small percentage of patients benefit from schemes run by energy companies. As cancer is often diagnosed suddenly, patients require direct and immediate financial support rather than relying longer term initiatives such as energy efficiency measures.
‘We look forward to working with the review team and government to ensure financial help to address fuel poverty is practical, timely and meets the specific needs of cancer patients.’
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For further information, please contact:
Rebecca Openshaw – Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7840 4699 (out of hours 07801 307068)
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 it. If you are affected by cancer Macmillan can help.
Call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm. Calls are free, including from mobiles or visit www.macmillan.org.uk