Improvements in cancer treatment mean that more people are surviving once they have had a cancer diagnosis, but we know that their lives don’t return to normal. Cancer should be as much a social care concern as it is a health priority. Yet social care services are currently failing people with cancer.
Macmillan’s report on social care [PDF, 453kb] shows that the emotional, practical and financial needs of people affected by cancer in England are being ignored.
Interviews with people affected by cancer, and representatives from PCTs and local authorities, showed that many don't see cancer care beyond medical treatment in hospital. But with over 2 million people living with a cancer diagnosis in England today, we know that care needs to go much further. It could be that extra support with housework or childcare is needed due to the effect of cancer or treatment, or that a loss of income means they need financial support and advice to help pay for extra costs like higher fuel bills or travel to treatment.
Macmillan wants the social care needs of people living with cancer, and their carers, to be properly recognised, and a holistic package of support available and accessible to all.
Social care at end of life
Social care supports people at the end of life to leave hospital and spend their last weeks and days of their life in the comfort of their own home.
We believe that all people in the last months of life, who are on an end of life care register, should be entitled to social care. This would help them to die at home if they so choose. Find out more about our campaign to improve care at the end of life.
We are also campaigning for 24/7 community nursing at end of life. Find out more.
Support for carers
Macmillan submitted evidence to the government ahead of the publication of the refreshed Carers Strategy in November 2010.
Our submission [PDF, 160kb] sets out our vision that:
- Carers will be respected as expert care partners and will have access to the integrated and personalised services they need to support them in their caring role.
- Carers will be able to have a life of their own alongside their caring role.
- Carers will be supported so that they are not forced into financial hardship by their caring role.
- Carers will be supported to stay mentally and physically well and treated with dignity.
We can help
Whether a friend has cancer or you are involved in the care of a relative or partner, you can find the support and information that you need in our cancer information pages.