18 October 2010
Responding to ‘Liberating the NHS: Choice and control’ and ‘Information Revolution’ released by the Government today, Mike Hobday, Head of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
24 hour community nursing
'We are delighted that the Government has today strongly backed Macmillan’s call for access to 24 hour community nursing services for all cancer patients at the end of their life in England. This sends a clear message to the 44%1 of PCTs who do not currently provide access to 24 hour community nursing services. It is outrageous that although 57%2 of people with a cancer diagnosis would like to die at home only 24%3 are able to do so.'
Case study - Vivienne, 63, Northamptonshire
‘I really welcome this news. If 24/7 community care had been in place when my husband was terminally ill with cancer, he would have been able to die at home, instead he died in a hospital bed alone. I suffered guilt knowing that the one thing he’d asked me to do, I’d not been able to because I couldn’t cope caring for him at home without support.’
Care plans for all
'We welcome the Government’s support for care plans for all. However, more needs to be done for cancer patients to ensure this actually happens. Currently only 11% cancer survivors get a written care plan from their health professional4. Cancer has changed and for many people living with cancer, it is a long term condition that needs to be managed. They need a care plan as much as patients with any other long term condition.'
'We welcome the Government’s recognition of the vital role information prescriptions have in making sure patients get the information they need to make informed choices about their care and to help them to access services and support which will reduce the negative impact of cancer on their lives, such as support groups or benefits advice in their local area.'
For further information, please contact:
Andrea Shufflebotham, Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7840 4689
Notes to editor:
Macmillan Cancer Support, Always There, 2010
Macmillan Cancer Support, Unpublished survey conducted February 2010 of 1019 people.
- National Audit Office (2008), End of life care.
- YouGov online survey of 1,740 UK adults living with cancer. Fieldwork took place between 26 July-9 August 2010. Survey results are unweighted.
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.