24 June 2010
A new report, commissioned by Macmillan Cancer Support, casts serious doubt on whether the previous Government’s Pathways to Work (PtW) programme, which aims to support sick or disabled people back to work, meets the needs of people living with cancer.
Aspects of PtW such as the Condition Management Programme (CMP), which was originally focused on claimants with mental health, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular conditions, are not sufficiently personalised to the needs of cancer patients, according to the report.
The report recommends that support needs to be targeted more towards specific needs of people with cancer. For example many cancer survivors would really benefit from help managing pain, a common side-effect of cancer and cancer treatment. The report also recommends that back to work programmes should offer ongoing assistance to people once they have returned to work, as the first months back can be the hardest.
Duleep Allirajah, Policy Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
'It’s vital that Department of Work and Pensions back-to-work support evolves to meet the needs of the growing number of cancer survivors wanting to return to work. For many people, going back to work is a fundamental step towards getting their lives back on track. However, one-size-fits-all services don’t work for cancer patients. We need services that are more personalised and that provide ongoing support once people are back in work.'
The report, Finding a Clearer Path: Review of Pathways to Work for people with cancer, can be found at www.macmillan.org.uk/pathwaystowork
For further information please contact: Rebecca Openshaw - Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
Tel: 020 7840 4699
Notes to Editors:
Research was carried out by Matrix Insight for Macmillan Cancer Support.
91% of cancer patients’ households suffer loss of income and/or increased costs as a direct result of cancer according to Macmillan’s Cancer Costs report (2006).
57% of patients have had to give up work, or change their job role or hours as a result of their diagnosis according to a Macmillan February 2010 online survey of 1019 people living with cancer.
Of the new cancer diagnoses each year, 106,000 are people of working age. (This estimate is for 15-64 year olds. Cancer Research UK, http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/incidence/age/ Figure 2.1.)
Approximately 728,000 people in the UK living with cancer are of working age. (J Maddams, D Brewster, A Gavin, J Steward, J Elliott, M Utley and H Møller (2009), Cancer prevalence in the United Kingdom: estimates for 2008, British Journal of Cancer, Table 4.)
Prevalence figures are currently increasing at a rate of 3.2% per year (based on the England prevalence data). (Source: Maddams J, et al. Cancer prevalence in the United Kingdom: estimates for 2008. British Journal of Cancer, 2009. 101: 541-547.) This is likely to increase still further in the future with continued improvements in treatments and early detection and the population getting older.
Among under 55s, seven out of 10 cancer patients’ households suffer a loss in household income, with an average fall of 50 percent. (Macmillan Cancer Support (2006). Cancer costs.)